Thunder Bay

Thunder Bay mayor, wife to stand trial for obstruction and extortion charges

Thunder Bay, Ont., mayor Keith Hobbs and his wife, Marisa were back in court on Thursday morning to determine if they will stand trail for their charges for obstruction of justice and extortion.

Keith and Marisa Hobbs appeared in Thunder Bay court Thursday morning

Mayor Keith Hobbs and his wife Marisa speak to their lawyer Brian Greenspan outside the Thunder Bay courthouse on Thursday morning. (Kris Ketonen / CBC)

Thunder Bay, Ont., mayor Keith Hobbs and his wife, Marisa, have been ordered to stand trial on charges of extortion and obstruction of justice.

Thunder Bay resident Mary Voss will also stand trial on a charge of extortion.

The three were charged by the Ontario Provincial Police in July 2017 over their allegedly attempting to extort a Thunder Bay lawyer to purchase a home for Voss.

A nine-day preliminary hearing took place earlier this summer to determine if there is enough evidence to go to trial.

Speaking after the proceeding, Brian Greenspan, the Toronto-based lawyer representing Keith and Marisa Hobbs, said Thursday's decision wasn't unexpected.

"The standard that's applied at the preliminary hearing is a very low standard," he said. "The judge must assume that all the evidence before him at the time of the preliminary hearing is to be accepted as credible."

"We believe that the preliminary hearing created a situation where a number of witnesses could be found, and were found to be, and will be found to be, untrustworthy and not credible witnesses," he said. "We're confident an acquittal ultimately will be entered, and Keith and Marisa Hobbs will be ultimately vindicated."

Today's ruling was handed down by Kenora Justice David M. Gibson.

The matter will be back in court on Sept. 17.