Jeff Wesley, Kevin Jakubec

Wallaceburg Coun. Jeff Wesley has threatened legal action against Kevin Jakubec, the spokesperson for Water Wells First. Wesley’s lawyers have also demanded a public apology from Jakubec and a retraction of “defamatory statements” made in print and online media during the past week.

Wesley’s lawyer Michael Lerner, of Lerners LLP, said in a notice of intended civil action letter that they have been retained to pursue legal action against the Dresden-area resident.

“In an attempt to humiliate, demean or impugn the reputation of Mr. Wesley, you approached the local Chatham-Kent media and announced that you intended to make a public presentation to Mr. Wesley of a ‘Pinocchio Award’,” Lerner said in the letter addressed to Jakubec.

Lerner said in the letter that Jakubec has accused Wesley of misleading the public, laughing at constituents and that he cannot be trusted.

Lerner says that these statements are 100% false.

“The defamatory statements made by you are completely unfounded,” Lerner wrote.

“They were uttered maliciously by you and have been repeatedly republished by mass media, including in large local newspapers. The false and defamatory statements have caused and are continuing to cause serious harm to Mr. Wesley’s professional and personal reputation. Mr. Wesley reserves all his rights to commence civil proceedings against you for the damages to his reputation and the full extent of his legal costs available at law.”

Coun. Wesley’s lawyers are demanding that Jakubec retract the statements made about Wesley.

“We demand that you immediately retract your false and defamatory statements in their entirety in the same manner and in the same form as your defamatory comments were made, and that you apologize to Mr. Wesley, publically, abjectly, unreservedly and completely should you wish to avoid further legal action. Regardless, we will require that any defamatory references or statements be removed from the Water Wells First website.”

Lerner said the letter constitutes as notice under Ontario’s Libel and Slander Act.

Reports say Jakubec insists a public apology will not be issued.

Jakubec and Water Wells First named Wesley as their second ‘Shame Award’ recipient last week.

He says the ‘Shame Awards’ are handed out to draw “much needed awareness to the serious problem of the loss of groundwater quality” for rural Chatham-Kent families, who are dependent on this source of water for their water supply.

Here is our coverage up to this point on this issue:

– ‘Shame Award’ given to Wallaceburg councillor

– Letter: Wesley responds to WWF ‘Shame Award’

– Wesley, Water Wells First saga continues

Watch for more on the Sydenham Current.

– Photo credit: Aaron Hall

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