Chatham-Kent Councillor Jeff Wesley is threatening legal action if he doesn’t receive a public apology from Water Wells First Spokesperson Kevin Jakubec.
Wesley has retained a lawyer and wants Jakubec to retract “defamatory comments” that have been made towards the councilor.
The comments stem from a “shame award” that was presented to Wesley in the form of a Pinocchio statue, by the group Water Wells First. Jakubec announced last week that the statue would be presented to Wesley, and made allegedly defamatory statements to the Wallaceburg Courier Press.
According to a letter sent by lawyer Michael Lerner, Jakubec has stated to the media that Wesley “mislead the public” and he “cannot be trusted.”
Jakubec was given written notice dated March 1, stating that if he does not retract his statements and publicly apologize, he will be facing a defamation lawsuit. The notice also requests that “any defamatory references or statements be removed from the Water Wells First website.”
In the past, the group Water Wells First has also accused the local municipality and the Ministry of the Environment of not addressing concerns about a decrease in water quality due to wind turbine vibrations.
Lerner, who is representing Wesley, says Jakubec’s comments about the CK councilor are humiliating.
“Hopefully he’ll realize and appreciate that his conduct is unacceptable and he’ll take immediate steps to rectify the situation,” he says.
The letter sent to Jakubec goes on to say, “The false and defamatory statements have caused and are continuing to cause serious harm to Mr. Wesley’s professional and personal reputation.”
“Over many years Councillor Wesley has deservedly earned the respect of the people Chatham-Kent,” says Lerner.
Jakubec tells BlackburnNews.com that he will not be apologizing or retracting any comments. He adds that it’s unfortunate Wesley chose to pursue legal action, and urges the councillor to reconsider.
“He’s [been] given an opportunity to take back those comments and issue an apology. So, the next step will be up to Mr. Jakubec,” Lerner says.