Niagara-on-the-Lake councillor being investigated revealed but Town remains mum


Published March 29, 2023 at 1:33 pm

Gary Burroughs has been reported as the Niagara-on-the-Lake councillor being investigated but others at Town Hall are remaining mum on the situation. (Photo: Niagara-on-the-Lake)

One news report has identified Gary Burroughs as the Niagara-on-the-Lake councillor being investigated by both the town’s Integrity Commissioner Edward T. McDermott and the OPP.

Media outlet, The Lake Report, identified both Burroughs as the councillor being investigated and local developer Benny Marotta as the “third party” in the case.

In its only comment on the investigation, the Town issued a release last week saying it had notified the integrity commissioner and the police regarding “a matter involving a third party’s interaction with a member of Council that warranted investigation.”

The Town added that council became aware of the alleged impropriety on March 20 and immediately instructed Town CAO Marnie Cluckie “to bring the matter to the attention of the Integrity Commissioner and to notify police. Both steps were taken immediately.”

Since that time, The Lake Report wrote that an alleged transaction took place between Burroughs and Marotta, a major landowner-developer in the Town and owner of the award-winning Two Sisters Winery, in which an envelope containing money was exchanged between the two men on March 12.

The Lake Report stated the envelope allegedly contained $10,000 in cash, adding that Burroughs handed the envelope to Cluckie on March 20, who, in turn, had it returned to Marotta.

Of his present projects, Marotta is best known for his plan to convert the old site of the former Parliament Oak School (325 King St.) into a four-storey luxury hotel. He purchased the property last October.

Marotta’s proposal would see 129 suites planned for the luxury hotel, along with a restaurant, bar and event spaces. The plan also features underground parking, as well as eight parking spaces on ground level.

A rendering of what the four-storey Parliament Oak Hotel would look like on the former
school lot. (Drawing: Peter J. Lesdow architect)


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