Decision on Ford’s conflict of interest case could be any day now
Rob Ford would likely be pleased (and relieved) if everyone would just forget about that nasty conflict of interest business that threatens to dump him from the mayor’s chair.
And if it wasn’t for the nonsensical charge under consideration by a judge - laid by a busybody with not enough thumbs to twiddle - all but the most virulent Ford haters would likely have developed amnesia and moved on by now.
Politicians rely on the short memories and dim wittedness of the public, and are seldom disappointed.
For those who can’t remember, Ford went on trial last month for allegedly violating the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act for speaking, and then voting on, an item that was said to be financially beneficial to him.
The city’s integrity commissioner ordered Ford to repay $3,150 in donations to the mayor’s private football foundation, because he used city materials to solicit the donations.
Council was asked to overturn the integrity commissioner’s ruling, which it did. Instead of declaring a conflict and recusing himself, Ford spoke on his own behalf and voted to overturn the ruling, which would have passed even without his vote.
A conflict of interest complaint by a private citizen resulted in a high profile hearing early last month before Justice Charles Hackland, who has yet to make his ruling, but could order Ford punted from office if he finds that the mayor violated the act.
Legal experts say Ford is clearly guilty, and that it is only a matter of whether Hackland decides the amount of money is too small to kick him out.
After the hearing, which riveted the city for several days in early September, experts said a ruling could come as soon as four weeks, but because the stakes are so high, it could take longer.
That was about six weeks ago, which had me thinking the decision could come any day now and return the mayor to his rightful place at the centre of political farce.
You have to admit it’s been pretty quiet around city hall lately. Too quiet for me.
Only the drunk driving bust of Councillor Ana Bailao last week – a one-day wonder in the news – has disturbed the reverie at city hall, and that is no good for anyone.
It is far more fun when the circus is at Nathan Phillips Square, with trapeze artists, ventriloquists and lion tamers – aka councillors – entertaining us, and the mayor at the head of the parade.
What if the judge decides Ford must go? Who will chase reporters, freeze out the Toronto Star or provide Brother Doug with a reason for being in politics?
Think of what a sad, bereft city it would be without hizzoner.
Remember David Miller? Me either.
I’m with Ford Nation on this and hope the judge forgets about it.