Hamilton City Hall Credit: Joey Coleman

Hamilton’s Acting City Clerk Janet Pilon reports Sergio Manchia and Darko Vranich made additional contributions to the campaign of Hamilton Mayor Andrea Horwath.

The new contributions are in addition to previous 2022 municipal election donations to candidates that exceeded the $5,000 total contribution limit by a single individual.

Manchia and Vranich are being prosecuted for alleged violations of the Municipal Elections Act individual contribution limits.

Both are scheduled to appear in court on December 13.

Last week, November 15, a hearing for Manchia’s case was adjourned until December 13 due to disclosure requirements.

Manchia donated $5,300 to 13 candidates. He also exceeded the donation limit in 2018.

Vranich donated $9,600 to eight candidates.

Additional New Contributions to the Horwath Campaign

Andrea Horwath’s campaign conducted additional fundraising after December 31, 2022, to erase campaign debt.

The campaign’s supplementary financial return states Vranich donated $1,200 on February 2, 2023. The individual limit to a single candidate is $1,200.

Manchia donated an additional $500 to the campaign on May 2, 2023. $50 of this was returned by the Horwath campaign because Manchia donated $750 during the 2022 campaign.

Mayor Horwath Welcome Dinner Fundraiser Tickets

Manchia writes, “The payment was made in response to an invitation to a welcome dinner for the new Mayor … over six months after the end of the election.”

He says he was unaware the welcome dinner event was part of the 2022 election limits.

“I was never informed of this campaign period extension by any person involved in the event or collection of my payment. The fact that my payment could be considered a contribution towards the 2022 election limit is a genuine surprise to me. I was under the impression that it would not count towards the 2022 election cycle, and had no reason to believe otherwise.”

Election Compliance Hearing This Thursday

Hamilton’s Election Compliance Audit Committee will meet this Thursday to determine whether the additional contributions should be included in the alleged election finance violations before the courts.

Manchia is asking ECAC not to add them.

Vranich, or his representative, is extended to make his submissions at the Thursday meeting.

Former City Clerk Andrea Holland refused to release Vranich’s July 2023 submissions to ECAC.

Section 88.34(9.1) of the Municipal Elections Act requires the Clerk to release the submissions. Section 9(1.2) of the Statutory Powers Procedure Act also requires the City Clerk to release the document.

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Published: November 20, 2023
Last edited: November 20, 2023
Author: Joey Coleman
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