Bombastic Toronto Mayor Rob Ford vowed to “fight tooth and nail” to keep his job after a judge ruled he violated conflict-of-interest laws and kicked him out of office.
Ontario Superior Court Justice Charles Hackland stayed the decision for two weeks so Canada’s largest city could make arrangements to find a new mayor.
“I’m gonna fight tooth and nail to hold onto my job and if they do for some reason kick me out I’ll be running right back as soon as the next election is,” Ford told reporters outside his office today.
“If there’s a byelection ... my name is the first thing on the ballot.”
Toronto resident Paul Magder brought the case forward saying he wanted leaders who would “work hard to develop solutions” for the city’s “terrible problems,” The Toronto Star reported.
Ford is adamant he did nothing wrong when he enlisted city staff and used Toronto letterhead to solicit $3,150 in donations from people lobbying the city. Ford has a football foundation for kids, and the incident happened in 2010 when he was a city councillor.
The court case, however, focused on Ford’s participation in a city council vote in February around the issue of weather or not Ford should repay the donors from his own pocket.
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Ontario’s Municipal Conflict of Interest Act forbids councilors from speaking to – or voting on – issues that they are financially vested.
The judge said Ford should’ve known the rules.
“It is difficult to accept an error in judgment defense based essentially on a stubborn sense of entitlement (concerning his football foundation) and a dismissive and confrontational attitude to the Integrity Commissioner and the Code of Conduct,” Hackland wrote in his ruling.
What happens next for Toronto is now the debate.
It’s unclear if Toronto council will appoint a new mayor from councilors or stage a $7-million byelection. It’s also unclear if Ford could run again, or if he must wait until 2014 when the current term expires.
Ford blamed the case on his “left-wing” attackers.
“The left wing wants me out of here and they'll do anything in their power,” Ford said, the Globe and Mail reported.
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