Toronto mayor Rob Ford gets to keep his job

Fri Jan 25, 2013 3:53pm EST
 

By Claire Sibonney

TORONTO (Reuters) - Toronto's divisive mayor, Rob Ford, won an appeal on Friday against a ruling that was set to remove him from office, defusing a showdown that has transfixed Canada's biggest city and allowing him to see out his four-year term.

Ford, a magnet for controversy during the two years he has spent as mayor, was ordered out of office last November after he was found guilty of conflict of interest, but he was allowed to stay on the job while he appealed.

The initial court ruling said Ford was in conflict when he voted at city council to scrap a C$3,150 ($3,100) penalty imposed on him for accepting donations of the same amount from lobbyists for his football foundation.

On Friday, a panel of three judges ruled that "council did not have the jurisdiction to impose such a penalty". That means Ford did not break municipal conflict of interest laws by voting against the penalty at city council.

"This has been a very, very humbling experience," the rarely compunctious mayor told a news conference following the ruling, saying he plans to run for mayor again and spend the next six years in office.

The fight to toss Ford from the mayor's seat may not be over, however. Clayton Ruby, the high-profile Toronto lawyer pressing the case against Ford, said he will ask the Supreme Court of Canada to hear the case.

"The court has let Rob Ford off on a technicality ... we believe that there are serious errors of law in the judgment," Ruby said in a statement.

FOUGHT TO LIMIT SPENDING, TAXES   Continued...

 
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford speaks to the media at City Hall supported by his brother, Councillor Doug Ford (R) after winning his conflict of interest appeal in Toronto, Ontario, January 25, 2013. REUTERS/Jon Blacker (CANADA - Tags: POLITICS)