Toronto Mayor Ford To Testify In Removal Challenge

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ROB FORD COURT TESTIFY
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is set to testify in court on Sept. 5 over allegations he violated conflict of interest rules in a case that could ultimately see him removed from office. (Photo by Peter Power/The Globe and Mail/CP) | Globe And Mail/CP

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is set to testify in court on Sept. 5 over allegations he violated conflict of interest rules in a case that could ultimately see him removed from office.

Ford is facing allegations he violated conflict of interest rules by participating in a council vote that absolved his need to pay back more than $3,000 in donations collected for his private football charity.

The application from Toronto resident Paul Magder claims that the mayor should be forced to lose his seat on council and be disqualified from running for office for up to seven years, as a result of Ford’s alleged breach of the act.

Clayton Ruby, the lawyer who is representing Magder, said in a Friday news release that Regional Senior Justice Charles T. Hackland informed all involved parties that "Mayor Ford would testify and be cross-examined in open court on the first day of the hearing."

Ford had already been cross-examined outside of court, and filed an affidavit. But Magder then filed a motion asking to have him testify in open court.

Mayor 'proud' of work with disadvantaged youth

"Mayor Rob Ford is proud of the work that he does with disadvantaged youth across the city of Toronto," the mayor's office said in a statement.

"The mayor is looking forward to his day in court. There will be no further comment as the matter is now before the court."

In August 2010, city council found that Ford, who was then a city councillor running for mayor, had violated the Code of Conduct for Members of Council while soliciting funds for his private football charity.

He was ordered to pay back $3,150 to corporate and lobbyist donors from whom he had collected money, and also to provide proof to the city’s integrity commissioner that he had done so.

But Integrity Commissioner Janet Leiper informed council in January of this year that Ford had still "not provided proof of compliance" on the donations matter.

Eight days later, city council members — including Ford himself — voted 22-12 to rescind the decision made in 2010 and to take no further action.

Because Ford voted while he had a pecuniary interest in the matter, Magder said in his application, he has violated the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, which Ruby has said could result in him forfeiting his seat unless the mayor can show he acted inadvertently or through an error in judgment.

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