Judge to hand down verdict in Fontana's case

Mayor Joe Fontana is accompanied by his wife Vicky as he walks to the courthouse London, Ont. DEREK...

Mayor Joe Fontana is accompanied by his wife Vicky as he walks to the courthouse London, Ont. DEREK RUTTAN/QMI AGENCY

Jane Sims, The London Free Press

, Last Updated: 6:21 PM ET

LONDON, Ont. -- Friday the 13th is judgment day for the city's mayor.

All eyes will be on the London courthouse Friday morning when Mayor Joe Fontana finds out his fate before the criminal courts -- and possibly his future in politics.

Fontana, 64, of Arva, Ont., pleaded not guilty to three charges: breach of trust by a public official, fraud under $5,000 and uttering forged documents involving a $1,700 expense he claimed while he was a cabinet minister in then prime minister Paul Martin's government in 2005.

He was elected mayor of London in 2010.

Fontana admitted he doctored the contract for his son's wedding at the Marconi Club and submitted it to the House of Commons for an expense in March 2005.

The cheque was cut to the Marconi Club.

The high-profile four-day trial last month before Superior Court Justice Bruce Thomas put Fontana on the hot seat while he explained he had submitted the expense without an original receipt to cover the deposit on a hall rental.

Fontana testified he booked the club through his friend Vince Trovato, the club's president, for a visit from then finance minister Ralph Goodale, but had to cancel the event on short notice because of Goodale's scheduling.

Fontana never received a receipt from the club but believed he owed the money for the cancelled event.

The Crown says Fontana submitted the claim for his own benefit and to cover the cost of his original $1,700 payment.

Thomas is expected to deliver his decision at 10 a.m.

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