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Conflict case in court

Arguments to be heard in Ruffolos versus mayor

Gino and Mary Ruffolo were set for legal battle with Mayor Linda Jackson in Newmarket court yesterday after a nearly month-long delay.

The case, however, has been adjourned until the middle of May.

Originally scheduled for Feb. 28, the Ruffolos planned to ask an Ontario Superior Court justice to turf Jackson from the mayor’s office.

They allege the Jackson breached the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act at a closed-door council meeting in November by influencing council’s decision to launch a $395,000 lawsuit against them for breaching a 2006 settlement.

The mayor should not have participated in that meeting because she was before the court for another legal action brought forward in June by Gino Ruffolo and Quintino Mastroguiseppe, the Ruffolos allege in the suit filed Dec. 27.

In June, Ruffolo and Mastroguiseppe asked the court for an audit into Jackson’s campaign finances after council deferred the request.

An audit was ordered into Jackson’s initial campaign finance filing by Ontario Justice Lucia Favret last month.

Ruffolo and Mastroguiseppe appear set to ask council for a second audit, this one into Jackson’s completed financial statements, filed Feb. 29.

Removal from office is the worst fate that could befall the embattled mayor should an auditor uncover any egregious wrongdoing.

Vaughan Today
Online: March 20, 2008 [link]