Toronto City Councilor Michael Thompson has fired his legal team. He was granted permission to do so by Ontario Court Justice Raymond Williams at a hearing on Wednesday in Bracebridge.
Thompson, who faces two counts of sexual assault in connection with separate incidences at a Muskoka cottage in July 2022, told the court that he has already begun looking for a replacement for his former lawyers, Jennifer Brevorka and Sarah Strban, from the Toronto law firm Henein Hutchison Robitaille LLP.
No reason was given for their dismissal.
This move happens just a week before the trial dates were expected to be set. Crown prosecutor Mareike Newhouse called it “an unfortunate development” that will delay court proceedings, but she did not protest the request.
“This is obviously going to cause some delay, but we are hoping Mr. Thompson has a plan moving forward and will be in a position to retain new counsel very shortly,” said Newhouse, according to the Toronto Star.
This is the second change in legal representation for Thompson in this case. He was originally represented by Calvin Barry, who stepped down because of his personal relationship with the councillor.
Thompson first appeared before the Bracebridge court via Zoom on Nov. 1. Since then, his case has been postponed several times. It is now scheduled to resume on May 17.