On January 25 the decision in the conflict of interest case against Rob Ford will be released. Use our interactive timeline to trace the developments in the story
JANUARY 25, 2013
Clayton Ruby Will Appeal to Supreme Court in Ford Ruling
Lawyer Clayton Ruby, who is representing Paul Magder, called it a 'technicality' that lets Rob Ford stay in the Mayor's chair.
In a release, Ruby says it's disappointing, and he believes there are serious errors of law in the judgment and he'll be asking the Supreme Court of Canada for leave to appeal to that Court.
He goes on to say, 'especially troubling is the finding that if a politician raises money from lobbyists and directs that money to his or her own personal interest, such abuse is beyond the reach of government oversight. This raises the possibility of American-style Political Action Committee (PAC) fundraising, which should be of great concern to all Canadians.'
JANUARY 25, 2013
Ford Wins Appeal to Remain in Office
Rob Ford has won his court battle to keep his job as mayor of Toronto.
A Divisional Court panel today struck down a previous ruling that Ford should be dismissed from office for violating conflict of interest rules.
The three-judge panel agreed with Ford's lawyers, who had argued the previous ruling was legally flawed.
In November, an Ontario Superior justice ordered Ford removed as mayor for taking part in a council vote that he repay $3,150 raised for his private football foundation.
The ruling was put on hold pending today's decision.
Despite the legal win, Ford's woes are not done. An audit of his campaign expenses is pending.
JANUARY 24, 2013
Ford Verdict To Be Heard Friday
The wait is almost over.
We'll find out on Friday morning if Rob Ford gets to keep his seat as Mayor of Toronto.
It was on January 7th, that a three judge panel listened to both sides in the one and only appeal hearing.
Ford was appealing a ruling in November that found him in conflict of interest, and ordered him removed from office.
He later won a stay on that ruling pending the outcome of his appeal.
At issue is a vote in council, that Ford participated in, which asked council whether or not he should be forced to pay back money he raised for his football foundation.
He's long argued that he did nothing wrong and was only trying to help the kids.
If he loses this appeal, Ford would be removed from office, and either Torontonians would go to the polls in a byelection, or City Council would appoint a new mayor.
JANUARY 8, 2013
Mayor Ford Back at Work with Future in Legal Limbo
A day after Mayor Rob Ford was in court for his appeal of a conflict of interest ruling that tossed him from office, it was back to work at city hall for the first official business of 2013.
Ford wasn't in the mood to talk about the state of the city with his job in legal limbo, dashing from his office to a second floor meeting room, answering few questions.
While the city and it's politicians wait for a ruling that could up hold or overturn the decision that removed him from office, Ford was asked how it could be business as usual at city hall and suggested he was going to "show up go to work and respect taxpayer money."
But a political foe suggested that mantra might be easier said than done.
"It's not business as usual at all," says councillor Gord Perks. "The entire city is under a cloud right now."
Work did get done Tuesday, with the Executive Committee re-appointing Councillor Mike Del Grande as the chair of the Budget Committee and Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday as chair of the Employee and Labour Relations Committee.
On the final budget committee meeting before passing the 2013 document off to the Executive Committee and then over to council for approval next week, more than $400,000 was found that will be allocated for EMS to hire more paramedics. The budget committee also voted to resume an environment study of future options for the Gardiner Expressway.
But even as business was underway, there was still plenty of chatter on what happens if Ford is turfed from office.
Councillor Karen Stintz, a rumoured mayoral candidate, says right now she doesn't favour re-appointing Mayor Ford as has been suggested by deputy mayor Doug Holyday.
She says she'd like to hear more from Ford about his vision for what would be left on his term before supporting that option. She would be open to a by-election if Ford wanted one to take place.
Perks says he supports a by-election.
"I don't that a group of 44 councillors should pick the next mayor of Toronto," adding that no matter that cost, it's the price of democracy.
Councillor Gloria Lindsay Luby favours an appointment because of the cost, and says she'd like to be a caretaker mayor until the 2014 election.
"The city has a lot of challenges," she says. "I'm very well aware of the issues before us. I've been a councillor for many years. I think I understand how the city works."
A decision in Ford's conflict of interest appeal is not expected for several weeks at the earlier.
If the ruling removing Ford from office is upheld, council would have 60 days to either appoint a mayor or hold a by-election.
Petition asks Rob Ford to step down as mayor
Rob Ford has vowed to fight "tooth and nail" to keep his job as mayor.
But a group calling itself Concerned Citizens of Toronto is asking him to accept Justice Charles Hackland's ruling & clear out the mayor's desk.
Ford will be in court December 5th asking for a stay of the decision. An appeal process will get going January 7th.
Concerned Citizens of Toronto says Rob Ford's poor judgement is putting the city's economic stability at risk.
They have created an online petition & letter-writing campaign asking the Rob Ford to step down to protect Toronto's economic future.
They argue Ford's leadership has lead to a "perception of corruption" that could damage short and long-term investments in the city & stunt job growth. The group says the longer the mayor's legal fight drags on, the more the perception will grow.
Doug Ford not confirming or denying rumours he would run
There have been rumours that councillor Doug Ford would run for mayor if his brother couldn't take part in a byelection.
On the Jerry Agar Show on Newstalk 1010 Wednesday morning, councillor Ford wouldn ot confirm or deny the rumours.
"Let's cross that bridge when we get to it," councillor Ford says.
Councillor Ford says his brother is his priority right now.
"Rob's the mayor and I'm going to do everything I can to help Rob continue being the mayor and delivering the services," he says.
If Rob Ford loses his appeal, councillor Doug Ford says that a byelection is the only way forward.
"Let the people decide," councillor Ford says.
The Toronto Star had claimed that should Rob Ford be denied the ability to run for mayor again until 2014, Doug Ford would run for mayor in a byelection and Rob Ford would try to run for the Progressive Conservatives in the next Ontario election.
The city solicitor tried to clear up any confusion in council on Tuesday. Anna Kinastowski believes the wording in Justice Hackland's ruling prevents the mayor from running for office again until 2014. Doug Ford disagrees with that, and their lawyers say the solicitor is incorrect, and they will be seeking further clarification from the courts on it.
Councillor Ford claims that "Ford Nation" and their team are ready to go, and if they had their choice, there would be a byelection as soon as possible. The article also states that only hours after that ruling from Justice Hackland came down, those that are closest to the Ford brothers met in Etobicoke to plan out their next steps.
A new Forum Research poll that was conducted the day that Ford was ousted from office, showed that MP Olivia Chow is the favourite. She received 41 percent support, while Rob Ford got 32. When those surveyed were asked if they would vote Doug Ford for mayor, still, Chow came out first with 40 percent while Doug Ford received 26 percent.
The Mayor's lawyer will appear before that panel Wednesday, December 5, asking that the judges stay the ruling that Ford vacate office December 10th. That would keep Ford in office and the appeal of the judgement that he breached the Conflict of interest law would be heard starting January 7th.
Ford Says 'Sorry'
The following is a statement read by Mayor Rob Ford at City Hall on Tuesday.
Good afternoon everyone.
I was elected two years ago by the people of Toronto to do a job. We have accomplished a lot in the past two years. But, that job isn't finished yet.
I respect the Court's decision that was released yesterday. My decision to appeal is not a criticism of the Court. But, I feel it is important to work through the appeal system so I can continue to do the work I was elected to do.
This entire matter began because I love to help kids play football. When this came to Council for the vote in question, I felt it was important to answer the accusations
that had been made against me. I was focused on raising money to help underprivileged youth.
I never believed there was a conflict of interest because I had nothing to gain. And, the City had nothing to lose.
But, I respect the court's decision. Looking back, maybe I could have expressed myself in a different way. To everyone who believes I should have done this differently – I sincerely apologize.
The people elected me to bring respect for taxpayers back to City Hall, and I will keep working to do exactly that for as long as I can – or, until the people elect someone else to do the job.
Thank you. Unfortunately, that is all I can say at this time.
How is Ford's Appeal Going to Work?
So when it comes to the legal side of Mayor Ford's case, what comes next?
Could it be possible that the case is dragged out through the courts for years?
In a word, no.
John Mascarin is a partner with Aird and Berlis in Toronto and he says when Ford files an appeal, the divisional court is the final place the case can be heard.
He says what they say, goes.
"Unlike other court cases," Mascarin says, "there is a statute that says you can appeal to the divisional court and that decision is final."
Ford has indicated he's going to file an appeal on Wednesday, December 5th and his lawyer has confirmed to Newstalk1010, that the appeal should be heard starting on January 7th.
What's Next for Mayor Ford & Council?
There's some debate on what comes next if the judge's decision to toss Mayor Rob Ford from office is upheld.
It doesn't seem like many councillors have made up their minds about if to appoint a mayor or call a by-election if Ford's planned appeal fails.
There's also another wrinkle. There seems to be no consenus on whether Rob Ford could even run in a by-election. Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday had no idea, and Clayton Ruby (who represented the man who launched the case) says, "I don't have the faintest idea. That's a municipal law question and there are guys who spend their life on that."
The judge ruled Ford cannot seek public office for the remainder of the term...which seems to suggest to some that he would be able to run in 2014, but the Mayor himself has said he'll run in a byelection, if one is called.
Currently, the Ford team of lawyers are preparing an appeal to Divisional Court and preparing a separate request for a stay of the trial judge's ruling.
The lawyers are likely to ask for an expedited appeal hearing. Mr. Justice Charles Hackland knew that vacating the mayor's office would cause problems so he has given city council 14 days to figure out how to proceed. If, within that 14 days, Rob Ford's lawyers can convince another judge to put the original ruling on hold, he would remain Mayor until there is a ruling on his appeal of the conviction.
City council has a meeting on Tuesday at 9:30 a.m.
Rob Ford OUT as Mayor
Rob Ford is no longer the mayor of Toronto.
Ford was booted from office after being found guilty in a conflict of interest case against him.
It all started when Ford was a city councillor and had solicited donations for his Football Foundation using City of Toronto letterhead.
Since that's against the rules, in August of 2010, council and city integrity commissioner Janet Leiper ordered the mayor to pay back the 31 hundred dollars raised, out of his own pocket.
But when the mayor took part in a council vote on February 7th, that rescinded that order, a complaint was lodged by Toronto resident Paul Magder.
During the trial Ford argued that he didn't understand the conflict of interest rules, and had he known he was in the wrong, he wouldn't have voted.
He even admitted to never reading the Conflict of Interest Act.
Justice Charles T. Hackland said because the decision means changes to the administration in the City of Toronto, the decision will be suspended for a period of 14 days.
There are a number of things that could happen now. First, is Ford's possible next steps. He can appeal, but he must request a stay of the decision to stay on as Mayor. That would then move the case onto a three judge panel, who can uphold the original decision, order a new trial, or come to their own decision.
Second, council will be in charge when it comes to selecting a new leader of the city. They have two options to do this: They could call a by election or they could appoint a new mayor. That person does not have to be a member of council.
Newstalk1010's legal experts say it appears Ford will be able to run again, if there is a by election called.
Torontonians weigh in: Rob Ford guilty or not of conflict of interest?
It's decision day for Rob Ford.
The judge in the mayor's conflict of interest case will make his ruling at 10am Monday.
But if it were up to the people of Toronto, what would the verdict be?
The answer depends on where in the city you go. Newstalk 1010's Siobhan Morris found most people she talked to at Yonge & Carlton had followed the case closely & thought Rob Ford was guilty.
Outside an Etobicoke grocery store, most people didn't seem especially aware of the case. Some even admitted to tuning out any scandal involving the mayor. One man who did follow the case closely insists the mayor did nothing wrong.
If Charles Hackland decides Rob Ford did break the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, Ford could ultimately be kicked out office.
So who would Torontonians like to replace Ford as mayor if that happens?
Every person stopped at Yonge & Carlton dropped Toronto MP Olivia Chow's name. Councillors Adam Vaughan & Kristyn Wong-Tam were also mentioned. In Etobicoke, Doug Ford & ex-mayor David Miller were floated as candidates to replace Rob Ford.
Decision in Rob Ford conflict of interest case Monday
Rob Ford's days as mayor of Toronto are numbered.
That's the prediction of municipal law expert John Mascarin, with a ruling in Ford's conflict of interest trial expected Monday at 10an. Justice Charles Hackland's decision will likely come in an e-mail. Mascarin says it's very rare for a judge to call parties back for a ruling except in criminal court. The root of the case came in 2010 when then councillor Ford used city letterhead to solicit donations for his football foundation. Toronto's integrity commissioner eventually ordered him to pay back the $3150 he collected as a result. In February, city council, including the mayor, voted that he didn't have to pay up.
Torontonian Paul Magder & his lawyer Clayton Ruby argue that by voting, Ford breached the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act. John Mascarin, a partner with Aird and Berlis, thinks Hackland will find Ford contravened the act. That finding would automatically boot Ford from the mayor's office.
There are 2 things that could save Ford even if Hackland found he broke the rules, but Mascarin doesn't see how the judge could use either of them. Hackland could declare the matter"insignificant". But Mascarin points out that during the hearing, Hackland shut down that argument from Ford's lawyer. Mascarin doesn't see how the judge could find Ford's violation of the rules was inadvertent since he declared a conflict on another issue the same day as the donation payback vote.
If Rob Ford were to lose his job as mayor, council would have 60 days to decide whether to appoint someone or run a byelection to replace him.
Hackland has the option to block Ford for running for municipal office for 7 years. If Hackland doesn't & Toronto goes with a mayoral byelection, Ford could run again right away.
Who's Paying the Mayor's Legal Fees in Conflict of Interest Proceedings?
At the end of conflict of interest proceedings involving Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, it's expected that the legal bill will be tens of thousands of dollars.
Who's paying for this?
A city spokesperson says at this point we don't know. If it's found that the mayor did not violate the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, he can apply to have his expenses paid for by the city.
"That would have to go to city council and city council would need to decide on if the city would pay for it," says Jackie DeSouza, Director of Strategic Communications. She says at this point Ford has not applied to the city clerk to have his legal fees covered by the city. When reached by Newstalk 1010 Thursday afternoon, his press secretary had no comment when asked if the mayor would attempt to have his legal fees covered by the city if Justice Charles Hackland rules that Ford did not violate the act.
If Hackland rules that Ford violated the act, then the mayor will be required to pay his own legal fees.
"The Municipal Conflict of Interest Act basically states that if there is a contravention of the act then the municipality cannot pay the expenses," says DeSouza.
Mayor Ford Testifies in Conflict of Interest Case
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford faced an Ontario judge Wednesday to defend himself against a conflict of interest allegation that could see him kicked out of office.
The mayor - speaking in a packed Toronto courtroom - said he does not believe he violated any rules when he used his office resources to solicit donations for his private football foundation in 2010, when he was a city councillor. The city's integrity commissioner found these actions violated the conduct code for councillors. Some of the $3,150 received was from lobbyists who often did business with the city and the commissioner recommended Ford pay back the funds.
Prior to the council decision, Ford gave a passionate speech about his charity, which buys football equipment for at-risk high school students in Toronto. Ford said that meeting was "confusing" and added that the city solicitor, who governs the proceedings, usually points out when a motion may be a conflict of interest for a councillor. This was not done at this meeting, he said. If found guilty of violating the act, Ford could be ousted from office and barred from running for city council for seven years.
However, there's a chance the mayor could hold on to his seat even if found to be at fault, provided the judge finds that Ford made a mistake or experienced a lapse in judgment.
Lawyer Clayton Ruby, whose client filed the lawsuit, has argued Ford's conduct was "flagrant and deliberate."