"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Sunday, 14 December 2014

A Valid Question

Last week the media reported Toronto Alderman Georgio Mammolito had filed a claim with the City Clerk for payment of  legal fees  for a judicial review of  a Council decision to suspend his remuneration  for three months.

A complaint against the Alderman  under the City's Code of Conduct was filed  for overspending in the last election. The Integrity Commissioner found  for the complaint.

 The Councillor pleaded guilty to overspending in the election.

Toronto provides an allowance  of $20,000 for an Alderman  to file for legal representation in a judicial review.

Apparently the cost is more than the allowance. Mammoliti has filed a claim for the difference.

The issue is of particular interest.

The complaint against Mammoliti was found . He acknowledged it by pleading guilty.

The  challenge is to the city's authority to suspend remuneration for a job he was elected to do.

He did it.

What the city could  not do was unseat Mammolito or compel him to cease and desist doing a job that was not the city's to give or take away.

The question of whether remuneration  for the job set by City Bylaw can be denied is certainly one ,to my mind , for a judicial decision.

It's  just another example of  half-assed Provincial legislation like the Conflict of Interest legislation.

Provincial  legislation is a serious occupational hazard for a municipal politician .

No offence can be charged under the  Municipal Bylaw. Without enforcement penalty, the Bylaw cannot be enforced.

The legislation so states.

An  Integrity Commissioner can recommend a penalty but cannot impose it.

ANeither can Council.

The question to be decide by judicial review is can a  Council enforce vacation of a council seat for any length of time?  If not can they  withhold  remuneration?

I would say not.


Anonymous said...

I was wondering if you had noticed that. Should have known better.
He said he acknowledged " book-keeping errors." CYA politics.

Anonymous said...

Following the disgusting, cowardly and completely unwarranted attack by the province's Energy Minister on the auditor general, I would not get my hopes set very high on the Wynne government doing anything to remedy a morally bankrupt piece of legislation.

How she could turn from sugar and spice into a bottom-feeder within a matter of just a few months is completely inexplicable.

In an article in the Toronto Sun there is a comparison between the present Wynne government and its energizer bunnies and that of Jean Chretien during the Sponsorship Scandal. The behaviour of Chretien is described as "stellar" as compared with that of Wynne. So what is the opposite of stellar? You can pick.

How do we get so many losers, including our local MPP?

Anonymous said...

I cannot recall an instance of someone being removed from office by that Bylaw. Bt the mayor of TO was certainly side-lined by the council, Not sure if that applies to the current situation though