POLITICS

Rob Ford's Conflict Of Interest Case Could Cost Toronto Mayor His Job

08/29/2012 01:06 EDT | Updated 08/29/2012 03:38 EDT
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Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has spoken out about the conflict of interest case he is currently fighting in court and called the lawsuit politically-motivated.

Ford made the comments and defended his innocence in an appearance on CP24 Wednesday. "If they dismiss me from office, I'll run again," Ford told LeDrew.

The appearance came just a day after the mayor spoke up about the the sensitive case that could see him kicked out of office.

"They want me out of office and if I lose the court case, I guess I lose my job. I don't know. It really bothers me. So, let's just hope for the best," Ford said to Newstalk 1010's Jim Richards on Tuesday. Listen to the full interview below.

Ford's brother, Doug, also spoke out against the case. "It's sickening how people want to politicize the process. We'll let the people decide in two years, that's the real court date," he told journalists on Wednesday.

The bid to oust the mayor of Canada's largest city is based on the claim that Ford used city resources to help find funding for his football foundation, according to CTV.

Back in 2010, Toronto integrity commissioner slammed then-councillor Ford for using the city's logo and his office's resources to solicit donations for the Rob Ford Football Foundation, CityTV reported at the time.

Ford was ordered repay more than $3,000 to donors, an order which was later backed by council, according to CBC.

Then, early this year, council voted to overturn that ruling and take no further action against Ford, who had not paid back the funds.

Ford took part in that vote and that's the issue which has led to the court case.

The conflict-of-interest case centres around whether the mayor broke parts of the Municipal Conflict Of Interest Act. He is alleged to have solicited donations to his high school football foundation, and voted on an item that would have helped the charity. Mayor Ford will be cross-examined by lawyer Clayton Ruby next week.

If he is found guilty a judge could remove Ford from office and prevent him from running for office for up to seven years. The Toronto Star also reports that the judge could still find Ford guilty but choose not to take action if the breach was inadvertent or if the sum of money is deemed insignificant.

Ford was guarded about the case but did express his frustration.

"If you don’t like what I’m doing then there’s an election Oct. 27, 2014, it’s two years away, then have your say,” the mayor said on the radio show. “But I don’t think it’s right what’s going on.”

If Ford was removed due to the lawsuit it could open the door to another election or the appointment of another councillor as a caretaker mayor, Open File explains.

Earlier this week, the Globe and Mail reported that Ford would likely argue that the conflict of interest was an honest mistake and that the sum involved is relatively small.

“Our alternative defences are if there is any contravention, and we say there is not, then it was by inadvertence or error in judgment,” Ford's lawyer Alan Lenczner told the Globe.

Ford also touched on lighter topics during his radio appearance on Tuesday. He joked about a football bet that he lost against Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel and also talked about the recent fishing trip he took with Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

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