Toronto Mayor Rob Ford back to court as lawyer challenges appeal decision

(Chris Young/CP)

Lawyer Clayton Ruby is taking Toronto Mayor Rob Ford back to court to appeal the appeal decision made by a panel of three judges in a conflict-of-interest case against the mayor.

Ruby said he hopes the Supreme Court of Canada will hear the appeal, telling The Globe and Mail that the matter is of “national importance.”

“When the most powerful politician in Canada’s biggest city ignores everyone – his own integrity commissioner, the council, his own supporters – and hits up lobbyists for money for one of his private interests, well, are we supposed to sit back there and do nothing? Are we supposed to just let it go? Well, we cannot let it go,” Ruby told the Globe on Thursday.

The January decision that Ruby wants the Supreme Court to examine overturned an earlier decision by Justice Charles Hackland that said Ford had broken the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act when he spoke about and then voted on an item at a city council meeting having to do with his use of city resources to raise money for his own, personal football charity. The penalty for breaking the conflict of interest rules is removal from office.

Once Ruby files an application to the Supreme Court, Ford’s lawyers must respond. After that, it could take the Supreme Court months to decide whether it will hear the case.

Ruby’s announcement comes just as a tiff between the mayor and formal mayoral candidate Sarah Thomson was beginning to fade from the headlines in Toronto. Last week, Thomson posted a picture of the mayor on her Facebook page, alleging that an intoxicated Ford had groped her bottom and made inappropriate comments at a party hosted by the Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee. Ford flatly denied the allegations.