Judge tosses out Anne Squires's lawsuit against Ron Ellsworth

A long-running lawsuit filed by Exit Realty on the Rock owner and admitted fraudster Anne Squires against the former deputy mayor of St. John's has been dismissed by a judge.

Squires had accused Ron Ellsworth and companies linked to him of charging her "illegal, criminal" interest rates on loans.

But in court filings, Ellsworth contended that no loans went to Squires herself, and she had no standing to bring the lawsuit.

Lawyers for Ellsworth had filed an application last year seeking to have the case tossed out of court.

The sole purpose for withdrawal is the inability to continue the pursuit financially. - Email sent at 4:23 a.m. from Anne Squires to Ron Ellsworth's lawyer

Justice Carl Thompson granted the order at Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court Tuesday morning, dismissing the matter and awarding costs to Ellsworth.

Squires did not appear at court, but did send an email to Ellsworth's lawyer, Darren O'Keefe, at 4:23 a.m. Tuesday.

"I have made a decision to withdraw the statement of claim registered against your client Ron Ellsworth," Squires wrote.

"The sole purpose for withdrawal is the inability to continue the pursuit financially."

Her email — which was put into the court record by the judge — goes on for three pages.

Squires called the situation "a true injustice" and indicated she would be forwarding information to an array of regulatory and law-enforcement agencies.

'Throwing in the towel'

O'Keefe told the court that email amounted to Squires "essentially throwing in the towel."

He said Squires did not comply with requests to file documents with the court related to several pre-trial applications.

"The whole process was unnecessary," O'Keefe told the court.

"All it's done is continue to drag it out and make it more painful for Mr. Ellsworth."

In earlier court filings, Ellsworth linked the lawsuit to his defeat at the polls.

Squires filed the statement of claim against him in 2016, while Ellsworth was deputy mayor, and amended it a week before the 2017 municipal election.

Ellsworth was defeated in his bid for an at-large councillor seat.

"I believe that the within proceeding, combined with the related media attention, had a detrimental impact on my reputation and credibility in the weeks and days leading up to the election, which I believe contributed … to my unsuccessful run for councillor-at-large," Ellsworth wrote in a sworn affidavit previously filed with the court.

Criminal case against Squires ongoing

The Ellsworth lawsuit was not the only matter on the Supreme Court docket for Squires on Tuesday morning.

Her unrelated criminal case was also back before a judge.

In April, Squires pleaded guilty to four charges: fraud, theft, breach of trust, and forgery.

At the time, she entered those pleas by telephone from Twillingate.

Meghan McCabe/CBC

The judge has not yet entered a conviction, as the defence and Crown remain in discussions over how much money was involved.

Tuesday's criminal proceedings were held in camera, with just the lawyers and the judge present.

Two weeks of court time have been set aside for this fall, in case both sides remain at odds about the facts of her guilty pleas.

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