Mayor Rob Ford is being accused of violating the code of conduct of Toronto City Council. If a lawsuit that was filed on Friday wins in court, it would mean that Ford is ousted from his current position.
This morning at Toronto City Hall, prominent lawyer Clayton Ruby announced that he had filed an application with the Ontario Superior Court on behalf of Toronto resident Paul Magder, alleging that Ford has violated the Province of Ontario’s Municipal Conflict of Interest Act.
What is in question is an incident from March 2010, just 6 days prior to Ford announcing that he was running for mayor of Toronto. On that date City Councillor Rob Ford sent out a letter using his City of Toronto letterhead asking for donations for the Rob Ford Football Foundation.
On May 4, 2010 one of the recipients who received a donation request filed a complaint with the City's Integrity Commissioner, Janet Leiper.
On August 12, 2010 the Integrity Commission found that Ford had breached the city council's code of conduct. She recommended that Ford reimburse those donations, a total of $3,150, as a penalty for his infraction.
On August 25, 2010 the City Council voted to accept the findings of the Integrity Commissioner and imposed the penalty.
On January 30, 2012 after several attempts to get Ford to comply with the city council's decision the Integrity Commission released a report to the council updating them on the matter. She recommended to the council to ask Ford to provide proof of reimbursement within a month.
The matter was brought up at council on February 7, 2012. After a debate that lasted for over an hour, including a speech made by Mayor Ford, the council voted to rescind its original decision on the code-of-conduct violations. The motion to rescind the decision was 22 in favor, 12 voting against and 11 members of council absent. Rob Ford was one of those who voted on the motion.
The lawsuit arises from that vote. Clayton Ruby contends that by voting on the matter instead of removing himself from the vote because it was a conflict of interest Mayor Rob Ford breached the rules that keep municipal government free from personal interest.
The lawsuit will not be decided in a few days, this could go on for over a year.
Sitting on Ford's desk is the documentation. It may go untouched for a few days as Ford is on Spring Break and is not expected in the office for several days according to his press secretary George Christopoulos.