Lawyer seeks to oust Mayor Rob Ford
Published Monday, March 12, 2012 11:09PM EDT
A prominent Toronto lawyer has filed an application to have Mayor Rob Ford removed from office, claiming the mayor improperly used city resources to help fund a personal charity.
The application accused Ford of failing to declare a conflict of interest while debating claims that he abused his position in order to solicit money for a personal charity in 2010.
Lawyer Clayton Ruby filed the application at city hall on Monday on behalf of Toronto homeowner Paul Madger.
"I don't want to see any more of that stuff going on," Madger told a news conference on Monday. "It is really the citizens of this city that have to be on top of their councillors and make sure they are following the rules."
The application seeks to remove Ford from his position and prevent him from running for office for seven years.
The call for Ford's ouster stems from allegations that he used city resources to seek donations for the Rob Ford Football Foundation.
The issue dates back to a 2010 ruling issued by Toronto's Integrity Commissioner Janet Leiper, who found that Ford used the City of Toronto logo, his status as city councillor and city resources to solicit donations for his private football foundation.
Ford, at the time a councillor and frontrunner in the mayoral election, was ordered to pay back $3,150 in donations to various lobbyists and a corporation that had business dealings with the city.
Ford then participated in a council debate to discuss dropping the case against him. Council voted 26-10 to accept the integrity commissioner's recommendations.
In February 2012, council voted to rescind the integrity commissioner's decision and directed no further action be taken in the matter.
Ruby claimed on Monday, however, that Ford's participation in the original council debate violated the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act.
"If he was a brand new councillor, a novice, I would say maybe there was some misunderstanding," Ruby said on Monday. "But he has declared a conflict of interest on issues from time-to-time. Just not this time."