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Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Audits for four Toronto councillors rejected
TORONTO - A committee spared councillor Doug Ford the fate doled out earlier to his brother Mayor Rob Ford.
The compliance audit committee rejected Wednesday audit applications for Doug Ford and three other right-wing counsellors’ election campaign finances.
Fair Elections Toronto accused councillors Giorgio Mammoliti, Doug Ford, James Pasternak and Michael Thompson of campaign finance rule violations.
The citizens’ group also alleged four others who lost in the election of the same thing.
Eric Van Eyken, who argued for the four complainants, alleging the councillors incorrectly filled out financial statements.
Due to overlap between the allegations, the committee decided to refrain from voting until they had heard all four cases.
“A candidate has a duty to properly disclose their revenue and expenditures,” Van Eyken said. “When it’s not done properly, that is a violation and an audit needs to happen.”
Representatives of the four councillors argued the candidates worked with one of the most experienced auditors of federal, provincial and municipal campaigns.
“There’s nothing to be accomplished by having another auditor look at this,” Tom Barlow, who represented Ford, said.
Committee members John Hollins and Virginia MacLean voted to dismiss the cases outright.
Fair Elections Toronto will decide if an appeal is worthwhile, said spokesperson Adam Chaleff-Freudenthaler.
The committee granted audits for three out of eight applications heard throughout the day. The election campaign finances of Peter Li Preti, Peter Youngren and Abdi Hashised will be further investigated.