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Former Corner Brook Minor Hockey Association treasurer asks for preliminary inquiry to be postponed

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CORNER BROOK — A two-day preliminary inquiry for the former Corner Brook Minor Hockey Association treasurer charged with defrauding the organization has been postponed.

Melissa Williams requested the postponement because of a delay in receiving more disclosure on the charges she’s facing during an appearance in provincial court in Corner Brook on Thursday.

Williams, 47, was not present for the matter, which was conducted via teleconference between Judge Kari Ann Pike, Crown attorney Lori St. Croix and William’s lawyer, Rosellen Sullivan.

Williams was charged in January with seven offences related to alleged fraudulent activity against the association.

The charges came about after the association publicly disclosed in March 2019 that it was experiencing financial trouble.

The association conducted an internal audit of its books, the results of which were passed to the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC).

A police investigation resulted in Williams being charged in January with fraud over $5,000, false pretense more than $5,000, false pretense, two counts of uttering a forged document, unlawful possession, use or traffic in credit card data, and theft over $5,000.

The preliminary inquiry had been set in August, when Williams elected to be tried in Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court should the matter go to trial.

St. Croix confirmed for the court that the disclosure is ready and her office is not opposed to William’s application.

St. Croix said the material they are waiting for includes a large number of documents that have to be scanned and copied, something the RNC suggests will take at least a month.

Sullivan said the documents she’s expecting may take away the need for a preliminary inquiry and may affect the election Williams has already made. She asked that the matter to be set for status.

Pike granted the application and set the matter over to Dec. 8 for status, with a note that it is to possibly set a new date for a preliminary inquiry.

At the time the minor hockey association’s financial troubles were made public, it was revealed that it owed a substantial amount of money to the Corner Brook Civic Centre for unpaid ice time.

The minor hockey association later reached an agreement with the city to pay the money, interest-free, over a two-year period.

In September the association said it had been able to pay early the approximately $75,000 that it owed to the city.

[email protected]

Twitter: @WS_DianeCrocker

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