Rob Ford's deputy says he thinks Toronto mayor will keep job

The man who could become Toronto's next mayor says he hopes Rob Ford will learn a lesson and start to operate in a "more usual manner."

Doug Holyday, Toronto deputy mayor, could become mayor if Ford is found guilty in a conflict of interest case and stripped of office.

On Monday morning an Ontario Superior Court judge will issue a ruling on a complaint against the mayor which was brought forward by a private citizen.

Ford, who has been a controversial figure ever since being elected mayor of Canada's largest city in 2010, was accused of being in a conflict.

In February, he spoke — and then voted — on a council measure that might have censured him.

At issue was Ford's refusal to repay $3,150 in donations to his football foundation.

Toronto's integrity commissioner issued several notices that the money should be repaid since Ford had sent out the requests on official city letterhead.

The judge will issue his ruling on Monday morning.

Speaking to reporters at City Hall on Friday. Holyday was quick to say he doesn't believe it will come to that but if it does he'll support a byelection to replace the controversial mayor, rather than having someone appointed by council.

"I'd want to have an election," Holyday said. "I know that's a costly matter but the public has spoken and I think the public are quite in agreement with the agenda Rob Ford has put forward. I'm not willing to support someone who is going to change the agenda."

It's estimated that a byelection would cost the city about $7 million.

Holyday said he doesn't believe the judge will find that Ford's alleged infraction is serious enough to warrant removal from office.

But, at the same time, Holyday says he doesn't know if Ford has learned anything from the episode.

"I don't know that anybody knows. He certainly has a mind of his own. Sometimes I speak with him and I think everything is fine and then he does what he does."

Holyday says Ford has been "unorthodox" in his methods but that he continues to support him.

"I do support his agenda. I just wish he would do things in a more usual manner. I wish he wouldn't open the door for so much criticism and for so many people to attack him."

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