DiCenzo Construction Company’s principal Anthony DiCenzo claims an appellant against one of their projects had their lawyer advise him they would withdraw their appeal for a sum of money “in the five figures.”
The allegations are detailed in an Ontario Land Tribunal ruling issued yesterday.
DiCenzo sought a rare costs order against the appellant who filed an appeal against Hamilton City Council’s approval of a subdivision at 311-313 Stone Church Road East.
The appeal by Carlo Silvestri was dismissed for failing to provide planning evidence back in May.
In yesterday’s cost motion denial ruling, OLT Member Scott Tousaw details the allegations of Dicenzo, which include that Silvestri lodged a criminal complaint against Anthony Dicenzo.
The Tribunal determined the allegations to be “not found proven” in the absence of cross-examination noting “there have been indications of potential misconduct.”
DiCenzo sent Silvestri an email which the Tribunal summarizes as “requesting a phone call to discuss costs, and that if a response was not made within 48 hours, the Applicant would file a Motion for costs.”
The ruling states that DiCenzo received a phone call from Hamilton Police following this. “After hearing Mr. Dicenzo’s contextual explanation, the Police closed their enquiry.”
The ruling states DiCenzo Construction alleged in its cost motion that a lawyer for Silvestra told Anthony Dicenzon in a telephone conversation that “the Appellant would be prepared to withdraw the appeal in exchange for a sum of money ‘in the five figures.’”
The company further alleges that “Mr. DiCenzo was advised by his planning consultant that the Appellant said that the Applicant could ‘make the matter go away with the right dollar amount.'”
OLT Member Tousaw writes, “there is no evidence from [DiCenzo]’s planning consultant on his/her conversation with [Silvestri].”
In his response, the Tribunal states Silvestri denies the allegations of a request for money. He told the Tribunal he contacted police because he did not know the source of an email.
“It is difficult to understand how the Appellant could not have known, or at least, deduced, that the person attempting to connect via email and phone was Mr. DiCenzo,” Tousaw writes. “This event alone, while unfortunate for all, is not sufficient to find an award of costs.”
“While the actions of the Appellant may have ‘reached the line’ of unacceptable behaviour and conflicting statements, they are found to not necessitate a cost award,” Tousaw concludes.
Production Details Current Version: 1.0.0 First published: October 7, 2022 Last edited: October 7, 2022 Author: Joey Coleman Edit Record v. 1.0.0 original version