Coun. Mark Taylor off the hook over 'apparent breaches' of election finance rules
City's independent prosecutor decided not to move ahead with action against Bay ward councillor
An independent prosecutor hired by the City of Ottawa will not proceed with action against Coun. Mark Taylor, even though it appears he contravened campaign finance rules during the 2014 municipal election.
Last December, the city's election compliance audit committee voted to prosecute the Bay ward councillor after an outside audit determined Taylor had made a "clerical error" in how he carried over a deficit from the 2010 campaign to the one in 2014.
The city then hired lawyer Tony Fleming from the firm Cunningham Swan to prosecute the case. According to a letter from Fleming to city solicitor Rick O'Connor, "there are apparent contraventions" of the Municipal Elections Act.
But the lawyer has the authority to decide whether to proceed with the prosecution. He found that there was no evidence Taylor or his team deliberately used the wrong form in their financial reporting.
"Undertaking a very high profile prosecution over what are, in our opinion, insignificant apparent contraventions to obtain potentially a low value fine is not in the public interest," wrote Fleming.