TORONTO, March 12, 2012 /CNW/ - Clayton Ruby and his client Paul Magder served an application to remove Mayor Rob Ford from office this morning after Mayor Ford breached the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act at a city council meeting last month.
Mayor Ford was in a conflict of interest when he spoke to and voted on a matter in which he had a personal financial interest at a February 7, 2012 meeting. The penalty for this breach is removal from office, unless Mayor Ford can show that he acted through inadvertence or because of an error of judgment.
"The Municipal Conflict of Interest Act is meant to keep politicians honest. It is an affront to democracy to use public office to solicit money from lobbyists," said Clayton Ruby, counsel for the applicant, Paul Magder, and a recipient of the Order of Canada for his contributions to the legal profession. "Mayor Ford's seat should be declared vacant. No one is above the law."
While a city councillor, Mayor Ford was found by the Integrity Commissioner to have improperly taken thousands of dollars from hired lobbyists for his private charity. City council directed he repay the hired lobbyists but Mayor Ford failed to comply. At its meeting of February 7, 2012, after making six attempts to have Mayor Ford comply with the council decision, the Integrity Commissioner sought council's help to have the mayor comply with the earlier council decision. Instead, Mayor Ford used the opportunity to ask his colleagues to save him more than $3,000 by dropping the order. After his speech, Mayor Ford continued to vote for a motion to quash the earlier decision. That motion was successful and Mayor Ford has still not repaid the hired lobbyists.
Mr. Magder, a high-tech manufacturing executive and homeowner in the former City of York, was motivated to come forward by his desire to see a city hall that prizes integrity.
"Respect for taxpayers means respect for the law," said the husband and father of two grown children. "With the MFP computer leasing scandal still so fresh in our minds, I felt an obligation to hold our mayor accountable for putting his own financial interests ahead of taxpayers' interests."
A press conference by Clayton Ruby and Paul Magder explaining the matter was held on March 12, 2012, at 11.00 am in the Press Gallery of City Hall.
Image with caption: "Clayton Ruby (far right) announces application to have Mayor Rob Ford removed from office. (CNW Group/Ruby & Shiller)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120312_C3594_PHOTO_EN_11013.jpg
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