Mayor Rob Ford appeal verdict to be released Friday
Published Wednesday, January 23, 2013 3:31PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, January 23, 2013 7:06PM EST
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford will find out Friday if he can remain in the office.
The Superior Court of Ontario will release the verdict in Ford’s appeal of an earlier ruling that ordered him to vacate the mayor’s chair for breaking conflict-of-interest rules.
The verdict is expected at 10:30 a.m. Friday.
Last November, Ontario Superior Court Justice Charles Hackland ruled that Ford must be removed from office for participating in a council debate and voting on his use of office letterhead to solicit $3,150 in donations for a private football foundation.
Ford was granted a stay of the order by an Ontario Divisional Court justice and his appeal was heard by a panel of three judges earlier this month.
Ford’s lawyer, Alan Lenczner, argued that Hackland erred in his ruling because the mayor’s vote did not result in a personal financial benefit.
Lenczner said Ford was simply being upfront and honest when he told council about his efforts to help disadvantaged youth through football.
Lenczner also argued that council had no authority to order Ford to repay the money solicited from donors.
But the lawyer representing Paul Magder, the man who launched the conflict-of-interest complaint against Ford, rejected the idea that Ford made an honest error of judgement.
Clayton Ruby told court that Ford had refused to co-operate with the city's integrity commissioner, who warned the mayor against voting on the football charity issue.
Ford has said that he will be the first to put his name on a ballot if he loses the appeal and council decides to call a byelection to fill the vacant seat.
“I’m going to keep fighting for taxpayers,” he told reporters, after his appeal was heard on Jan. 7.
Alternately, council can appoint an interim mayor to serve until the next municipal election in October 2014.
Toronto Mayor Ford wipes his forehead as he speaks at the Economic Club of Canada in Toronto on June 5, 2012. (Nathan Denette/THE CANADIAN PRESS)