Toronto Mayor Rob Ford awaits election spending audit results

Matthew Coutts
National Affairs Reporter
Daily Brew

Toronto is playing the waiting game on Mayor Rob Ford’s latest legal hurdle. At some point this afternoon, a three-person audit committee will release their findings on Ford’s 2010 election finances.

Consider it not-so-sexy sequel to Ford’s recently concluded conflict of interest court battle. But with lower stakes.

CBC News reports the audit findings are expected to be released on Friday. Should the committee find he breached the rules, it could decide to hire a prosecutor to bring non-criminal charges against the mayor.

It is possible, but high unlikely, Ford could be removed from office if found guilty. A more likely penalty would be a fine.

And remember, that is only if charges are brought forward and he is found guilty.

The audit stems from a complaint into Ford's spending during the 2010 mayoral campaign.

The Toronto Sun reports that two residents allege that Ford wrongly borrowed money for his family's company to pay for his campaign expenses, resulting in campaign overspending and the wrongful acceptance of corporate contributions.

[ Related: Mayor Ford faces release of campaign audit ]

Coun. Doug Ford said today this audit complaint was another attack from leftist activists.

Doug is likely referring to this connection to his brother’s other recent run-in with the legal system. As written in the Sun:

[Complainant Adam] Chaleff-Freudenthaler is an outspoken activist who fought for Transit City, the transportation plan Ford derailed, and as a one-time member of the Toronto Public Library Board fought budget cuts requested by city staff. He also ran for a Toronto District School Board trustee seat in 2010 and lost. Chaleff-Freudenthaler also introduced [Paul] Magder to [lawyer Clayton] Ruby leading to the launch of the conflict of interest lawsuit against Ford.

What is interesting is how nonplussed the public is about the affair, compared to more recent controversies. It is like the city, even those loathsome left-wing activists, is exhausted from the travails of our dear mayor.

That the situation is being taken so lightly shouldn't be surprising. Toronto has lived in a world of revolving scandals for the past two years.

[ Related: Rob Ford already campaigning for next election ]

There have been visceral moments, like Ford being accused of giving the finger to a mother and her child, and infuriating ones, like when two buses were pulled from service to shuttle Ford's football team home from a game.

There have also been court battles, the conflict of interest case that nearly resulted in Ford's ouster the highest-profile of those.

This campaign finance spending audit doesn't even break the top 10 list of Ford controversies.

That says a lot about a lot.