The Divisional Court has overturned a decision ordering Mayor Rob Ford out of office.
Regional Senior Justice Edward Then, Justice Katherine Swinton and Justice Lynne Leitch disagreed with a lower court that Mr. Ford broke the Municipal Conflict of Interest, designed to keep elected officials from exerting influence on decisions that could benefit them financially.
The panel of judges found that Justice Charles Hackland erred in finding the city had the authority to order the mayor to reimburse donations made to his private football foundation. The city’s integrity commissioner had found the donations were obtained improperly with use of city resources. But the higher court objected to a “so called remedial measure.. being used for a punitive purpose.”
Furthermore, council’s decision went beyond the actions allowed in the city code of conduct “because it required Mr. Ford to reimburse funds which he never received personally,” the judges wrote in a decision released Friday morning. It concluded the mayor did not have a financial interest in the matter.