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Toronto: And the mayor came back . . .

The mayor of the country's largest city will not have to fight to stay in office while he appeals his ouster for violating conflict of interest laws.

Toronto businessman Paul Magder, who persuaded a judge to order Mayor Rob Ford punted from office, agreed Monday to a stay of the decision pending the appeal.

Magder's lawyer, Clayton Ruby, said they would nevertheless continue the fight to have Ford thrown out of office.

"By breaking the law in such a flagrant manner, Rob Ford has put this city into unnecessary turmoil," Ruby said in a statement.

"We are agreeing to this stay to give the city of Toronto a measure of stability, something that has been wholly absent during Mr. Ford's term in office."

The Divisional Court, which is expected to hear Ford's appeal early next month, was slated to hear a stay of the judge's order on Wednesday.

There was no immediate comment from Ford.

Last week, Ontario Superior Court Justice Charles Hackland ordered Ford out after finding the mayor violated conflict laws by voting at council on a matter in which he had a financial interest.

"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 said in his ruling.

Hackland did put his decision on hold for 14 days to allow the city to make arrangements to deal with the situation.

The ruling stunned city hall and outraged Ford, who blamed a left-wing conspiracy for his ouster. The mayor immediately said he would run in any byelection if his appeal fails.

Magder said the way Ford and his "proxies" impugned the reputation of the legal system was outrageous.

"One of Ontario's most respected judges considered in great detail the arguments made on my behalf and that of Mr. Ford before issuing his thoroughly reasoned decision," Magder said in a statement Monday.

"For Mr. Ford to pretend he is the victim of a 'left-wing' political attack is to insult the justice system that is a cornerstone of Canada's strong and enduring democracy."

The Canadian Press


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