Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Forced Out of Office for Football Charity Conflict
Canadian comics cheered as the pratfall-prone city leader was found guilty of failing to repay donations from lobbyists to the high school team he coaches.
TORONTO -- Toronto mayor Rob Ford this summer gave some political advice to Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis during a Canadian publicity tour stop for The Campaign.
“Just keep going hard. Don’t hit babies,” Ford jokingly told the Hollywood actors during the media event.
On Monday, the Toronto mayor hit a brick wall and is to be turfed from office after being found guilty of securing lobbyist money for his high school football charity using a city letterhead.
Radio and TV stations in Canada’s largest media market offered blanket coverage of the conflict-of-interest court decision, which found Ford violated City Hall’s code of conduct.
“In view of the respondent’s leadership role in ensuring integrity in municipal government, it is difficult to accept an error-in-judgment defense based essentially on a stubborn sense of entitlement (concerning his football foundation) and a dismissive and confrontational attitude to the Integrity commissioner and the Code of Conduct,” Ontario Superior Court Judge Charles Hackland wrote in his shock decision Monday.
Ford was found guilty for not declaring a conflict of interest when he rose in the Toronto City Council chambers to argue against having to repay $3,150 in donations for his private football foundation from city lobbyists.
Canadian comics and actors were quick to comment on Twitter as Toronto's right-wing mayor was booted from office.
"Now City Hall meetings won't be interrupted with the crinkling of candy wrappers and the smell of a fat killing himself with food," Comedy Now! star Matt O'Brien said on his Twitter account.
"This may prove a good day for Toronto but this is a TERRIBLE day for comedy," Mark McKinney, star of Less Than Kind and The Kids in the Hall, wrote with his own tweet.
This is just the latest scrape for Ford, who former Current TV pundit Keith Olbermann named as the “worst person in the world” after the mayor was ambushed outside his home by a CBC TV comedy crew, with cameras rolling.
Rather than taking the expected appearance on the This Hour Has 22 Minutes satirical news show, Ford dropped F-bombs when he rang 911 dispatchers and shouted: “You … bitches! Don’t you f---ing know? I’m Rob Ford, the f---ing, the mayor of this city!”
The legal decision Monday was put on hold for two weeks to give Ford time to mount an appeal.