Toronto — Toronto Mayor Rob Ford will appeal the “bombshell” ruling that ordered him removed from office in 14 days.
Ford told reporters outside his city hall office, “I’m going to appeal it and carry on with my job. I’m a fighter. I’ve done a lot of great work in this city and sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.”
Ford said the decision to remove him from office came down to “left-wing politics.”
“The left wing wants me out of here, and they’ll do anything in their power,” Ford said. “I’m going to fight tooth and nail to hold on to my job. If they do for some reason get me out I’ll be running right back. As soon as the next election, if there’s a byelection, I’ll be the first name on the ballot.”
The ruling to remove Rob Ford from office centered around his decision to participate in a February council debate on whether he should be forced to repay $3,150 to lobbyists whose donations to his football he improperly accepted.
Ford urged the council to excuse him, saying, “To ask me to pay it out of my own pocket personally, there is just, there is no sense to this.” He voted with the 22-12 majority to cancel an earlier council order to reimburse the money.
The Municipal Conflict of Interest Act says members of council cannot speak or vote on issues in which they have a financial interest.
Ontario Superior Court Justice Charles Hackland could have allowed Ford to keep his job by accepting the argument that Ford’s actions were inadvertent or a result of an error in judgment. But Hackland rejected all arguments and said Ford deliberately ignored the law.
“In view of the respondent’s leadership role in ensuring integrity in municipal government, it is difficult to accept an error in judgment defence 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 also wrote, “Inadvertence involves oversight, inattention or carelessness. On the contrary, (Ford)’s participation was a deliberate choice.”
Rob Ford insists he did nothing wrong, but said if he had been advised that voting on the matter to return funds would land him in court, he wouldn’t have voted.