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BREAKING NEWS: No charges following OPP probe of Ainsworth claims

OPP Crime Unit investigated and 'found no reasonable grounds to lay criminal charges based on the information provided to police'
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Mason Ainsworth, a candidate for mayor, asked the Orillia OPP to investigate 'sewer level' tactics during the municipal election. The OPP have concluded the investigation and will not be laying charges.

The Orillia OPP have completed an investigation prompted by a complaint from mayoral candidate Mason Ainsworth, who alleged bribery and intimidation during the municipal election campaign.

In a brief two-paragraph news release, Orillia OPP Acting Sergeant Brett Boniface said the investigation “found no reasonable grounds to lay criminal charges based on the information provided to police.”

On Sept. 28, Ainsworth made a lengthy social media post in which he went public with allegations about bribery and intimidation, referencing what he dubbed “sewer-level” political tactics against him and his supporters. Click here to read our earlier story about this.

“Since announcing my run for mayor, people tried to bribe me to leave the mayoralty race in return for a fully-funded councillor campaign and alternatively, threatened to ‘come after me’ if I don’t back down,” Ainsworth claimed in his post.

The following morning, on Sept. 29, Ainsworth, after “careful consideration,” decided to take his claims to the police.

“I felt an obligation to go to the police especially after some of the comments on (the) OrilliaMatters post on Facebook,” he told OrilliaMatters the day he went to the police.

When asked at the time for specifics related to the timing of his decision to go to the police and exactly what he is seeking, he replied: “I went today and provided them with the information and am hesitant to comment on specifics as it is in their hands to investigate.”

Ainsworth, reached while door-knocking Thursday afternoon, said he had not yet seen the release, but would provide comment when he saw it.

Boniface could not be reached for further comment about the investigation.

The “Orillia OPP received a complaint regarding the municipal election in the City of Orillia” on Sept. 29, noted the press release from the OPP. 

“The complaint was investigated by members of the Orillia OPP Crime Unit. The investigation found no reasonable grounds to lay criminal charges based on the information provided to police.”