The charges come after a forensic audit of the York West councillor’s books that uncovered apparent contraventions of the Municipal Elections Act, including having exceeded the legal spending limit by 44%. A first court appearance is set for August 15.
The city’s compliance audit committee launched legal action in February, and the city retained Brian Gover, of Stockwoods LLP, to decide what, if any, charges would go before a court. Mr. Mammoliti is accused of exceeding the candidate spending limit, failing to record or incorrectly recording campaign contributions and expenses, failing to keep records of campaign expenses and accepting cash contributions over $25.
He was charged on July 16. The alleged offences are provincial, not criminal. If found guilty, he could be fined up to $25,000 per offence and, in some circumstances, disqualified from office.
Reached by phone in Vancouver, Mr. Gover said prosecutors must believe there is a “reasonable prospect of conviction” before filing the charges.
In a statement, Councillor Mammoliti blasted the “frivolous” claims and suggested he was not given enough time to respond. “We take this summons from the city very seriously and will vindicate ourselves by detailed explanation,” he wrote. He has hired prominent lawyer Morris Manning to argue his case.
Peter Li Preti
Meanwhile, Toronto’s compliance audit committee voted Friday to commence legal action against former councillor Peter Li Preti, the runner up in the 2010 Ward 8 election.
An audit by Froese Forensic Partners found Mr. Li Preti accepted 46 illegal corporate contributions and went over his $23,917 spending limit by just over $3,000, or 13%, among other apparent contraventions.
Following the decision, and ignoring his lawyer’s advice not to speak to the media, Mr. Li Preti expressed his disappointment.
“I don’t think I have anything to fear. I think this a political decision,” he said. “Rob Ford had the same number of contraventions, if you read this report. The committee did nothing. Other people had the same number of contraventions, the committee did nothing. But me, they’re proceeding.”
In February, the committee dropped the investigation into Mr. Ford’s campaign spending. Auditors identified a number of alleged breaches, including that Mr. Ford spent 3% over the legal limit and accepted 11 illegal corporate donations.
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