Rob Ford's future as Toronto mayor to be decided Monday
Ford could be removed from office and barred from running for seven years
Rob Ford's run as the mayor of Canada's largest city could come to an end on Monday morning - all over a stubborn refusal by Ford to follow instructions from city's integrity commissioner.
On Monday morning at 10 a.m. ET, Ontario Superior Court Justice Charles Hackland will release his decision in a conflict of interest case that could see Ford not just dumped from his mayor's job, but barred from running in the next election.
The issue that has brought Ford's political career to the brink is his love of football — and $3,150 in donations to his football foundation.
Toronto's integrity commissioner found that Ford had erred when he used city letterhead to solicit the donations and ordered him on several occasions to pay it back.
Ford, whose two years in office have been charged with controversy, adamantly refused.
When the issue came up in city council in February, Ford took part in the debate and then voted along with the majority of councillors to let himself off the hook.
But Toronto resident Paul Magder insisted Ford was in a conflict and pursued the case.
Lawyer Clayton Ruby, who represents Magder, argued in court in September that Ford's participation in the debate amounted to a conflict of interest, something Ford denies. Ford also admitted in court he had never read the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act (MCIA).
On Thursday afternoon Hackland informed the two legal teams that he would release his decision — probably by email or fax — on Monday at 10 a.m. And that's when Ford, who is in the midst of celebrating the 100th Grey Cup, which Toronto is hosting — and who is also coaching his Don Bosco Eagles in Tuesday's Metro Bowl high school championship game - will find out what his future is.
If Ford is found guilty of contravening the MCIA he would be immediately removed from office.
Justice Hackland also has some leeway if he finds the violation inadvertent, an error in judgment. He might also rule the amount involved is too small to "reasonably be regarded as likely to influence the member."
The act also allows the judge to bar Ford from running for office for seven years.