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Kingsbury will appeal conviction

Jon Kingsbury's legal battle is not over yet.

Jon Kingsbury's legal battle is not over yet.

The former Coquitlam mayor has hired a new lawyer and is appealing his convictions of forgery, impersonation and fraud over $5,000 related to the theft of a trailer belonging to his former business associate.

The 64-year-old business man was found guilty last spring and sentenced to two years probation and 150 hours of community service.

"My concern is clearing my name," he said. "Do you know what four years of torture feels like."

The convictions stem from an incident in the summer of 2008, when Kingsbury took a trailer belonging to Jean Aussant from a Langley RV dealership.

Throughout his trial Kingsbury contended that he loaned $24,000 to Aussant to purchase the trailer, and was only trying to recoup some of the losses related to a soured business arrangement when he took the vehicle.

However, Justice Miriam Gropper said in her decision that by allowing employees at the dealership to believe he was Aussant and by signing Aussant's name on the work order, Kingsbury broke the law.

Kingsbury told The Tri-City News on Monday that he expects the appeal to cost him $30,000, bringing his entire legal bill to about $150,000.

The appeal is important, he said, to clear his name and rebuild his reputation. Being on probation, he added, also limits his ability to travel across the border and visit his sister, who lives in Palm Springs.

But even if the appeal is successful, Kingsbury's lawyer retainer fees will likely continue. While not mentioning any names, he said he intends to sue the people he feels are responsible for his current legal predicament.

"You can count on it," he said. "I guess I was made an example of. Once this appeal process is over we will make an example out of other people."

Between 1998 and 2005 Kingsbury was mayor of Coquitlam, after serving more than a decade as a city councillor. He last ran for office in 2006 when he lost the mayor's race to Maxine Wilson.