Two conflict-of-interest charges against Beaubassin East Mayor Ronnie Duguay relating to his time as a municipal councillor in 2016 were dismissed in a Moncton court on Thursday because of a defect in the summons.
Duguay's lawyers argued that the information on the summons was too vague, and the trial should not go forward.
Judge Yvette Finn listened to submissions from both sides, then decided the trial would not go forward.
Basile Chiasson, one of Duguay's defence lawyers, called the decision fantastic.
"Now he walks away without the stigma that would be associated with a conviction, for the very good reason that from the get go, there was a defect in the summons itself, which enabled us to make the the arguments we made," he said.
The charges date back to two meetings that happened on Feb. 22, 2016,, and March 14, 2016, when Duguay was a councillor in the rural community east of Shediac.
What was discussed at those meetings, and what spurred the accusations of a conflict, did not come out in court.
Duguay pleaded not guilty in May 2018 to two charges of failing to disclose a conflict of interest and failing to leave a meeting room while a matter was being considered, contrary to and in violation of the Municipalities Act.
In January, two judges, Judge Pierre Arsenault and Judge Luc Labonté, both withdrew from the trial because of a possible conflict of interest.
The RCMP took almost two years to lay the charges under section 90.9 of the Municipalities Act.
At the time, the RCMP said the investigation was so long because charges under the Municipalities Act are unusual, and lawyers and experts had to be contacted.
Chiasson said his client is happy with the outcome, but getting to this point has been an ordeal.
"I'm sure that it has been taxing both for Mr. Duguay personally, but certainly taxing also for the municipal council as a whole," said Chiasson.
"He is the current sitting mayor and for the community at large, I mean, nobody takes any pleasure in having to deal with these significant matters."