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Compliance Audit Committee Recommends Legal Action Against Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti

In what could be a preview of the fate that awaits Mayor Rob Ford at the end of the month, the City’s compliance audit committee has just recommended legal action against councillor Giorgio Mammoliti (Ward 7, York West), following an audit that revealed possible problems with his campaign accounting during the 2010 municipal election.

The audit, released last month, says Mammoliti exceeded his legally mandated $27,464.65 campaign spending limit by $12,065. It also points out a number of other possible accounting-related violations of the Municipal Elections Act (MEA).

The compliance audit committee is a panel of three citizen experts. The decision to press charges against Mammoliti means a prosecutor will decide whether to take the councillor to court. If Mammoliti is ultimately found to have breached the MEA, he could face penalties ranging from fines, to loss of office, to jail time. (It’s almost unheard of for a court to punish an MEA violator with anything stiffer than a fine in cases like this, though.)

This is the exact same process Mayor Rob Ford—whose own compliance audit was released on Friday—will face when the compliance audit committee meets again, on February 25.

Mammoliti—a sometime Ford ally who has lately been distancing himself from the mayor—is currently best known for publicly maintaining, implausibly, that he’s the target of a conspiracy whose organizers have even gone so far as to tap his phones. We suspect this won’t help with that.

Mammoliti’s compliance audit was brought about by a complaint from David DePoe. DePoe is a member of an organization called Fair Elections Toronto, which is headed by Adam Chaleff-Freudenthaler, an activist and former library board member who has also had a hand in the Mayor’s compliance audit, as well as the conflict of interest lawsuit that almost saw Ford booted from office.

[Disclosure: Adam Chaleff-Freudenthaler is Torontoist editor-in-chief Hamutal Dotan's partner; she was not involved in the writing or editing of this article.]

Comments

  • HotDang

    Between the DUIs, ethics violations, and campaign overspending, this council is a real rogues gallery.

  • http://twitter.com/Brian_Finch Brian Finch

    On top of it, nothing will happen but a slap on the hand. There’s probably more money spent to investigate than any penalty levied against overspending. Why even bother in the first place then. There is no deterrent as it stands.

  • Tommy

    What ever happened to Mammoliti’s giant flag pole idea?

    • dsmithhfx

      Relocated to the floating casino and whorehouse.

  • Paul

    I think the compliance audit process is seriously flawed. It shouldn’t take more than a year to do the audits and make recommendations. By the time any legal wrangling is done, the councillor is practically halfway through their term. At that point, whoever was runner-up in the election (arguably the most harmed by cheating) has moved on with their life. But a fine or other minor penalty basically turns cheating into a calculated strategy, much as the high finance sector seems to see SEC fines as a cost of doing business.

    • dsmithhfx

      Agreed. It should be like DUI: either you submit to the breathalyzer or you are presumed guilty. So with compliance audits: either pony up requisite financial records in timely fashion, or the presumption is you have something to hide, and you’re out.

    • tyrannosaurus_rek

      Go one better: auditing should be done for all, automatically. Fail and you don’t get your seat, and face fraud/whatever charges.