Toronto mayor troubles not over
Jan 25, 2013 / 9:07 pm
The polarizing mayor of Canada's biggest city emerged a survivor Friday, hanging on to his job after a fierce battle with courts and his critics.
But Rob Ford's troubles may be far from over.
Ontario's Divisional Court overturned a previous decision that ordered Ford removed from office for violating conflict of interest rules.
However, the mayor got his knuckles rapped by the three-judge panel over his "wilful blindness" to the law.
The normally brash and outspoken Ford appeared before reporters somewhat toned down Friday.
"It's very humbling to know how many people out there supported me," he said.
In response to the ruling, the lawyer who brought the action against the mayor indicated he would try to take the fight to Canada's top court.
Ford won on a technicality, lawyer Clayton Ruby said in a statement.
Ford, who could also still be forced from office, an audit of his campaign expenses is pending, vowed to continue "fighting on," adding he planned to spend the next six years "getting the job done."
Last October, an Ontario Superior Court justice ruled Ford had violated conflict laws for taking part in a council vote on whether he should repay $3,150 raised for his private football foundation. It ordered him removed from office.
The mayor blamed a left-wing conspiracy for the decision and immediately appealed.
His Divisional Court win Friday turned on whether council had the power to order the repayment. The judges said it didn't.
As a result, they said, his participation in the vote wasn't in violation of the conflict law.
Ruby, a noted constitutional lawyer who took on the case for a disgruntled citizen, Paul Magder, called the ruling "disappointing."
"We believe that there are serious errors of law in the judgment and we will ask the Supreme Court of Canada for leave to appeal to that court," Ruby said.
"It must be acknowledged that such appeals are not easy but this remains an important issue for all citizens."
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