Ford is a 99-1 longshot to keep his job
I’m taking bets that Mayor Rob Ford’s appeal of a judge’s ruling to kick him out of office will be denied. Step right up and put ‘yer money down.
The decision of the three-judge Divisional Court appeal panel is due any day now, with his future as mayor hanging in the balance.
Ford is appealing the ruling of Superior Court Justice Charles Hackland that he violated the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act by voting at city council on an issue in which he had a pecuniary interest: To pay back $3,150 he raised from lobbyists for his football foundation, solicited on mayor’s office letterhead.
Had he abstained from the vote, which he won 22-12, he wouldn’t be in this pickle, but that’s another story.
Hackland applied the only penalty prescribed in the Act, removal from office, but described it as a “blunt instrument,” which it surely is.
Ford’s lawyers have appealed on several grounds, including that council had no authority to order him to pay back the money. But for the most part, they’re the same arguments made to Hackland before his decision last November.
After the hearing in early September into a complaint made against Ford, Hackland was expected to take up to four weeks to issue his verdict. Instead, it was more than two months.
That’s why I’m willing to bet Ford won’t be getting his job back.
Hackland took a lot longer than most people figured, and you have to ask why. I think he went around the horn, up down and seven ways from Sunday, making sure his decision was unassailable.
What else could he have been doing?
If Hackland, who has a reputation as an excellent judge, had the slightest doubt that the ruling would be overturned on appeal, I doubt he would have imposed so drastic a penalty.
He has no skin in the Toronto politics game. What does he care if Ford is mayor?
Hackland’s only interest is in squaring the facts with the law, which allowed some small wiggle room to which he did not defer, because he didn’t think it applied.
Ford Nation is hoping for a miracle from the court, and I will not be disappointed (except as a bookmaker) if the appeal is upheld. I’d much rather he finish his term.
But I think Hackland is convinced his ruling is bulletproof, so as a gambler, I am betting on his legal acumen, rather than with my heart.
Which is why I am willing to take the action of people who want to bet with theirs.
Anyone who wants to put up their dough can email me at email@example.com.