Mayor Ford to Testify on Conflict of Interest Allegations
Wednesday is Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's big day in court, a session that begins at 10 a.m.
He will be called to testify why he took part in a city council debate and voted about whether he should return $3100 he solicited from city hall lobbyists to donate to his charity to raise funds to buy football equipment for kids.
The nub of the argument is that the Mayor violated the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act by participating in the debate and vote.
His lawyer will argue that this is a breach of city council's Code of Conduct governed by the City of Toronto Act, not a violation of the Ontario Municipal Conflict of Interest Act. He'll contend that the City Integrity Commissioner only has authority under the Code of Conduct, not the Conflict of Interest law.
Even if this is a breach of the Code of Conduct, the Ford team will say there are only two penalties that could be meted out by council: a reprimand and suspension of pay for three months.
If that argument fails, the Mayor's lawyer will simply say Ford made an honest error in judgement.
Fellow councillor Glenn de Baermaeker was a guest on the Late Shift with Joe Warmington on NewsTalk 1010, saying he believes the mayor was in a conflict of interest but it was simply an error in judgement, and we should just move on.
(Files by D.Agar)