Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Ex-Grit director admits fakery

Draws $3,500 fine in nomination scam

  • Print

A former executive director of the Manitoba Liberal party pleaded guilty Thursday to falsifying signatures on nomination papers during the 2011 provincial election campaign.

Dennis Trochim, his voice at times cracking with emotion, told provincial court he was under intense stress when he faked signatures of support for Liberal candidates in the constituencies of Dauphin and Swan River.

"I was physically exhausted... working 18-hour days," Trochim said. "I just started signing things without even realizing why I did it."

Trochim pleaded guilty to one count of knowingly providing false or misleading information under the provincial Elections Act. Seven other charges were stayed.

Provincial court Judge Tim Killeen fined Trochim $3,500.

As one of a small number of workers for the Liberal party, which has just one legislature seat, Trochim was the official agent for 12 candidates in 2011.

Hours before he forged the signatures, he received a phone call from his father, asking him to come visit. Trochim told the court he said no because he was too busy with the election.

"(Dad) said he had terminal cancer," Trochim, 45, recalled. "Dad said: 'That (Liberal Leader) Jon Gerrard is more important than me."'

Evan Roitenberg, the prosecutor acting on behalf of the provincial elections commissioner, said he sympathized with Trochim's personal troubles. But Roitenberg pointed out Trochim denied any wrongdoing when first confronted by the commissioner's office and tried to blame someone else.

"In one instance, Mr. Trochim tried to provide the name of another person who he thought (investigators) should look at," Roitenberg told the court.

Eventually, Trochim came clean and admitted his mistakes.

Roitenberg had asked Killeen to impose a $5,000 fine. The defence asked for a $2,000 penalty.

Trochim's lawyer, Sarah Inness, noted he has no criminal record and was swamped by his workload.

"Mr. Trochim had taken on far more than an individual could reasonably cope with."

Trochim has lost his job, Inness added. The Liberals initially said they stood behind him but recently fired him, she said.

Interim Liberal Leader Jon Gerrard said outside the legislature Thursday the party is now in the process of hiring a new executive director. Bronwyn Lawton was recently appointed acting executive director.

"When I first heard this, which was two months ago, I was shocked, not just because it's wrong but also because it was so out of character for Mr. Trochim to do this," Gerrard said.

Gerrard, the MLA for River Heights, stepped down as leader of the Manitoba Liberals a year ago. He agreed to stay on as interim leader until his successor was chosen. A leadership convention is planned for October.

So far, no high-profile Liberals have committed to taking a run at the job. Gerrard said that's not surprising, as formal applications are not being accepted by the party until later this month. Manitoba Liberals will hold their annual meeting in Brandon May 31-June 1.

-- The Canadian Press, with staff files

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 10, 2013 A10

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Officials detail fatal house fire in Kane, MB

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A baby Red Panda in her area at the Zoo. International Red Panda Day is Saturday September 15th and the Assiniboine Park Zoo will be celebrating in a big way! The Zoo is home to three red pandas - Rufus, Rouge and their cub who was born on June 30 of this year. The female cub has yet to be named and the Assiniboine Park Zoo is asking the community to help. September 14, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
  • A group of Horese pose for the camera in the early evening light at Southcreek Stables in Stl Norbert Wednessday. Sept  14, 2011 (RUTH BONNEVILLE) / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos


What should the Esplanade Riel's next tenant be?

View Results

Ads by Google