Mayor Ford fights audit of campaign finances
Mayor Rob Ford is fighting an audit of his election campaign finances, despite saying recently he had no problem with such an examination.
Ford's lawyer filed an appeal Monday to the Ontario Court of Justice at the last possible moment. The move comes just over two weeks after the city's compliance and audit committee voted unanimously in favour of the audit after hearing a complaint from two citizens.
Ford's lawyer Tom Barlow now says the city's compliance audit committee made a mistake in their interpretation of Municipal Elections Act and the audit should be stopped.
The mayor said last month he wouldn't stand in the way of the audit.
"People have asked for a compliance audit, and everyone, they can go and look at it, no problem at all," he said before the audit was ordered.
The committee was acting on complaints filed by Max Reed, who worked on Coun. Mary Fragedakis's campaign and Adam Chaleff-Freudenthaler, who is a longtime community activist.
Specifically, they complained that more than $77,000 in expenses paid by Doug Ford Holdings Inc., a family company that bears the name of Ford's brother and fellow councillor, was not in line with election spending rules outlined under the Municipal Elections Act.
The money was repaid but without any interest or surcharges.
The complainants argued that the money appears to be either a corporate donation or a loan from a private company — neither of which is permitted by law.
They also allege Rob Ford miscategorized expenses related to direct mailing and telephone campaigning.
Ford's camp has denied the accusations.