Local lawyer takes up claim against Rob Ford
Clayton Ruby to argue conflict of interest case that could turf mayor
Conflict of interest case is lawyer’s latest high-profile legal challenge
Local lawyer Clayton Ruby is representing a Toronto resident who alleges that Mayor Rob Ford breached the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act at a recent Toronto City Council meeting. If Ford is found to have breached the act, he will automatically be removed from office and may by barred from running again for up to seven years.
Ruby’s client, Paul Magder, is claiming that the mayor was wrong to have spoken to and voted on a city council item in which he had a personal financial interest. The item in question was the city integrity commissioner’s request that Ford pay back the $3,150 in donations to his football charity that he solicited from lobbyists during his tenure as a councillor. John Mascarin, a partner at Aird Berlis who has expertise in municipal law, said it looks to him as if Ford breached the act. Mascarin said Ford may try to argue that the item was insignificant.
“The question becomes, ‘Is $3,150 enough to sway a politician from having an interest in the matter?’ ” he said.
George Christopoulos, Ford’s press secretary, did not respond to an interview request before press time.
The allegation has not been proven in court.