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Audit mania: Two more reps targeted

Council’s latest audit request targets were prepared for the inevitable.

“Nothing surprises me anymore,” Ward 2 councillor Tony Carella said Monday.

On May 27, Paul De Buono, lawyer and self-described Vaughan watchdog, asked council to look into Carella’s 2006 election campaign books, as well as those of regional councillors Joyce Frustaglio and Gino Rosati.

Council is expected to decide whether to grant or reject the latest audit requests at a meeting set for June 11.

“Considering the many other requests, I thought that maybe somebody would do likewise,” Rosati said Monday. “I wasn’t expecting it, but I wasn’t surprised either.”

De Buono alleges the three councillors each received $750 contributions from several people or companies that may be linked to Maystar General Contractors, which received the $84-million contract to build Vaughan’s new city hall in 2006.

Accepting donations from associated companies and individuals totalling more than $750 is a contravention of the Municipal Elections Act.

But De Buono isn’t after a full review of the three councillor’s campaign finances, he said in his sworn written submission to council. He’s after a definition.

“This request for a compliance audit … is intended so that an auditor can determine once and for all whether Maystar is an associated company to the companies listed,” De Buono wrote in his request.

Carella says it has already been determined that the companies are not related.

“(De Buono) claims that there are two contributions that come from two companies that have the same address,” Carella said. “I have it from the accountants for the companies that they are not related.

De Buono is the second Vaughan resident to ask for an audit of Frustaglio’s campaign finances. On May 20, council ordered an audit into the regional councillor’s books after a similar request by Raymond Plouffe.

Frustaglio was unavailable for comment by press time.

With these latest requests, the list of municipal politicians targeted for audits by residents has grown to include Rosati, Frustaglio, Carella, Councillor Bernie DiVona, Mayor Linda Jackson and former mayor Michael DiBiase.

Vaughan Today
Online: June 5, 2008 [link]