In a stunning decision, Toronto judge has found Mayor Rob Ford guilty of conflict of interest.
Ontario Superior Court Judge Charles Hackland issued the ruling, saying, “I declare the seat of the respondent, Robert Ford, on Toronto City Council, vacant.”
The judge ruled that Ford violated conflict of interest rules when he took part in a debate on whether he should pay money he soliticted from lobbyists for his football scholarship.
Hackland also said Ford showed a “stubborn sense of entitlement” and a “dismissive and confrontational attitude” toward the integrity commissioner.
Councillor Adam Vaughan told the New AM 740′s Goldhawk Fights Back that he is shocked by the decision. ”The business of the city is best conducted in the council chamber and not in a courtroom. The challenge now for City Council is to take a deep breath and a step back, listen to the wise words of our city solicitor and our clerk’s department and then make sure we do what’s in the best interest of the city. We have a budget, we have policing issues, we have infrastructure issues, we’ve got a housing file that needs attention, and it’s time for us to get away from the distractions that the courtroom has created and get back into the council chamber and do our work.”
The judge has given Ford 14 days to vacate his seat. Depending on whether Ford appeals the decision, City Council will have to decide whether to hold a byelection to elect a new mayor.