Maria Augimeri

Toronto city councillor Maria Augimeri. (Courtesy of Maria Augimeri/Twitter)

Maria Augimeri was ruled to have breached Toronto city council's code of conduct when she made disparaging remarks about an opponent in the media.

Augimeri referred to ward rival Gus Cusimano as "criminale" in a local Italian-language newspaper, Corriere Canadese. Her full quote, translated from Italian, was, "the people do not want to be represented by a criminal," referencing the Cusimano's 2010 run for council.

Cusimano pleaded guilty to breaching the Municipal Elections Act in 2013, but has no criminal record.

He asked for Augimeri apologize without qualification and for the apology to appear in the same newspaper. Instead, Augimeri said, "If I offended someone by using the term 'criminal' against Gus Cusimano, I am sorry."

Cusimano rejected that apology and requested another, which she offered.

Janet Leiper, the city's integrity commissioner, described the comment as "public name-calling" and found she violated council's code of conduct. There will be no sanctions against Augimeri, however, as Cusimano did not request any. 

Leiper has recommended the city cover up to $5,000 for Cusimano's legal fees.

In the 2010 municipal election, Augimeri won her Ward 9 seat by margin of 89 votes over Cusimano, who later challenged the results in court.