Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Removed From Office In ‘Bombshell’ Ruling

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has been ousted from office by a judge after a ruling described as a “bombshell” by the Toronto Star, but the politician’s immediate future remains unclear.

Rob Ford will be allowed to remain in office for 14 days as the ruling has been “placed on hold,” during which time the mayor will be able to appeal the Divisional Court for an indefinite stay on the removal order pending an outcome.

The local paper gives some background to the Rob Ford removal, saying the conflict of interest-related ruling stemmed from an incident in which the mayor was found to have broken rules in his prior position and stood accused of abusing his authority.

“The hotly awaited decision followed a two-day hearing in early September that saw Ford grilled over his conduct at a Feb. 7 council meeting and the events that led up to it … The city’s integrity commissioner ruled in 2010 that then-councillor Ford was wrong to use official letterhead and other city resources to solicit donations from people lobbying him for his namesake football foundation.”

The paper continues, saying that Ford had been told to give the money back, a sanction to which he objected:

“Council agreed and ordered Ford to repay $3,150 to lobbyists, their clients and one private firm. Ford ignored six reminders from the integrity commissioner before she brought the issue back to council Feb. 7 … There, Ford made an impassioned speech about why he shouldn’t be forced to repay the money, arguing it was spent distributing football equipment to schools. He voted with the 22-12 majority to cancel the order that he repay.”

Rob Ford Driving and Reading

In the course of the legal dispute over Rob Ford’s alleged violations of the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, lawyer Clayton Ruby argued Ford displayed a “pattern of conduct [that] shows that he chose to remain ignorant, and substituted his own view for that of the law.”

Ford has countered that he was unaware he may have been in violation of the act when voting on the issue.