Two assault charges against MPP Amy Fee dropped
|Toronto Star 07 Nov 2019 at 16:34|
On Wednesday in a Kitchener courtroom, both charges were withdrawn. The Conservative MPP entered into a nine-month peace bond. Fee must “keep the peace and be of good behaviour,” have no contact with her husband and take counselling.
“What’s important is that a peace bond is not an admission of guilt of any kind,” Fee’s defence lawyer, Brennan Smart, said in an interview.
The criminal charges “can never be revived,” Smart said. “They have been withdrawn, so her presumed innocence is maintained. The fact that we were able to get that accomplished so quickly is indicative of the nature of the evidence that we were dealing with.
“Amy is grateful that she’s able to put this behind her and can return her focus to representing her constituents.”
The weapons in the alleged assaults at the Fees’ Kitchener home were a cellphone and apparently the lid of a cardboard box.
“The Crown withdrew (the cellphone assault) charge because they just did not accept that there was any reasonable prospect of conviction,” Smart said. “With respect to the second count, they have withdrawn the charge upon her entering into a peace bond.”
The MPP was not asked any questions in court and said nothing.
“Ms. Fee, the aim today is to ensure that the public peace is maintained,” Justice Thomas McKay told her.
Fee nodded her head as the judge read out the terms of the peace bond. The court proceeding lasted just 10 minutes.
Court records, meanwhile, show that Stephen Craig Fee, 46, is facing a charge of sexual assault alleged to have happened on April 11 in Peel Region. He is scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 12.
“He denies the allegation,” Iain Sneddon, a lawyer who represents him in family court, said in an interview on Wednesday. “He will be defending it.”
Fee is currently “on leave” from Kitchener radio station 107.5 Dave Rocks, Sneddon said. On air he goes by Craig Fee.
The charges against Amy Fee came to light last month. Smart said that soon after the charges were laid, he had a 20-minute phone conversation with Doug Ford.
“Premier Ford was extremely supportive of Amy Fee,” Smart said. “He said that she’s a key member of his team, that he had some understanding of the background and that after discussing things with me, they were going to take no action until the matter was dealt with by the courts.
“A lot of times when you get these kinds of things, the leader gets all whacked out — ‘we’ll suspend you from caucus’ ... They never doubted that the matter would be resolved in her favour. Now she’s free to continue on with her real job, which is raising her kids and representing the constituents.”
Fee, a mother of four who has two children with autism, has been a key player in the Conservative government’s effort to help families of autistic kids.
She was first elected as MPP in 2018. Previously, she was a Catholic school board trustee.
“Amy Fee is a very important member of our team at Queen’s Park and a dedicated, hardworking MPP for Kitchener South-Hespeler,” government house leader Paul Calandra said last month in a statement. “We support her and will continue to support her through this difficult time.”
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The Fees “are not living under the same roof,” Smart said. “Legal proceedings with respect to the marriage have been commenced.”
Amy Fee’s husband is the only person she can’t contact.
“She hasn’t been kept away from the kids,” Smart said. “The kids need their mother.”