Clayton Ruby counters Rob Ford's grounds for appeal
This just in: a Christmas gift from Clayton Ruby, the lawyer representing Paul Magder, the Toronto resident who brought the conflict of interest case against Rob Ford. In a statement of facts filed today, Ruby shoots down many of the appeal arguments outlined by Rob Ford's legal team in advance of the Jan. 7 hearing that will once and for all decide whether the mayor stays or goes.
In the document, Ruby systematically picks apart the grounds Ford's lawyer Alan Lenczner laid for appeal in a similar document filed earlier this month, countering claims that council was outside its jurisdiction when it ordered Ford to pay back $3,150 in donation solicited for his personal charity using city resources.
The 44-page factum also argues Justice Charles T. Hackland, the judge in the original case, did not misinterpret the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act when ruling that Ford's council seat be declared vacant as Lenczner claims. Ruby calls Ford's breach of the MCIA "wanton, reckless and completely lacking bona fides [sincerity]."
There's also a rebuttal of the mayor's claims that the amount in question was insignificant, citing legal precedence from Howick Township, northwest of the city, in which $300 was deemed significant under the MCIA. "It takes a long time and a good deal of hard work for an ordinary Canadian to save up $3,150.00," Ruby notes.
A final decision in the protracted saga is expected by February once a panel of three judges have considered both sides of the appeal. If Ford is booted from the clamshell, council will have to either hold a by-election or appoint a new mayor for the remainder of the current term of office that ends in 2014. If he stays, it's still unlikely to be business as usual.
Here's the full text of the document. Stay tuned for more legal drama in 2013.
Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.
Image: HiMY SYeD / photopia in the blogTO Flickr pool.