The mayor of Canada’s largest city has been found guilty of conflict of interest and ordered from office. Mayor Rob Ford has two weeks in which to appeal the court decision.
The colourful mayor apparently used Toronto City letterhead in 2010 when seeking money for his charity football team. That resulted in a ruling that he should give the money back to donors. In that court case, he announced he would not. Then, when the Toronto City council took a vote to order Mayor Ford to repay the funds, he participated in the vote and defeated it.
This is not the first time that Ford has made the news in an unfavourable light. He is also embroiled in a multi-million dollar libel case brought against him when he alleged corruption in City Hall. This was during his 2010 bid for the mayor’s chair.
While Ford was elected on a platform to cut city expenses, he has lost much of his early popularity. His calling the police during a comedy stunt pulled by a well loved TV programme claiming he felt threatened, being observed reading and driving and his angry interaction with news people have all served to dampen his approval ratings.
This turmoil leaves Canada’s largest city in a difficult situation. This is the time of year that budgets are set for 2013, financing arrangements with the federal government are made, and committees are appointed.