US & Canada

Toronto mayor Rob Ford job is safe

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford speaks to the media at City Hall supported by his brother, Councillor Doug Ford after winning his conflict of interest appeal in Toronto, Ontario, 25 January 2013
Image caption "This has been a very challenging time for all of us," Toronto Mayor Rob Ford (left) said on Friday

Rob Ford, the mayor of Toronto, will be able to stay in his job after a Canadian court ruled against a removal order in a conflict-of-interest case.

The ruling scrapped a C$3,150 (£2,000) penalty imposed on him for accepting donations of the same amount from lobbyists for his football foundation.

The panel ruled the "council did not have the jurisdiction to impose such a penalty".

Mayor Ford said it had been "a very humbling experience".

The judges found: "Here, the evidence is clear that Mr Ford never personally received any of the money donated for the football foundation. All funds were received by an arm's length entity, the Toronto Community Foundation."

The lawyer for the man who launched the case against the mayor said he had won on a technicality as he vowed to appeal to the country's Supreme Court.

Mayor Ford used the city of Toronto logo and his status as city councilman to solicit funds for the football foundation.

The city's integrity commissioner found his actions broke a conduct code, and that the mayor should pay back the money to the donors.

The city council adopted the commissioner's findings, but Mayor Ford never made the repayments.

A city councillor for years, he promised to end wasteful spending when he became mayor.

But he has been involved in a string of embarrassing incidents since taking office in 2010, including a pending audit of his campaign expenses.

He was also caught reading while driving on a city expressway, once called the police when a comedian tried to film part of a popular TV show outside his home, and skipped council meetings to coach high-school football.

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