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Jackson campaign audit raises eyebrows

An audit into Mayor Linda Jackson’s 2006 election campaign books has reportedly uncovered several contraventions of the Municipal Elections Act.

Jackson had yet to see the findings of the audit prepared by Ken Froese and Glen Davison of LEGC Canada, she said in a statement released Thursday afternoon. Still, she said, she welcomed the “timeliness” of the report.

Jackson said the audit’s findings can be blamed on the stresses of a highly competitive and contentious election.

“As in our own private lives, oversights during a campaign can occur when schedules are very challenging,” she said. “Given the areas of non-conformity identified in the audit, and showing up repeatedly in other campaigns throughout the province, it is clear that there does not exist a deep enough understanding of the requirements of the Municipal Elections Act on the part of many politicians.”

Quintino Mastroguiseppe and Gino Ruffolo, the two Vaughan residents behind the audit push, had claimed the mayor’s financial statements appeared to show numerous contraventions of the act totalling over $34,000.

Jackson’s audit report is the first of many to be released. Regional Councillor Joyce Frustaglio and former mayor Michael DiBiase also face campaign finance audits, and Councillor Bernie DiVona is in court fighting an appeal for audit into his 2006 books.

“I understand many of our residents will not be pleased with this audit and with several others which will be forthcoming in the next months,” Jackson said. “We all desire a clearing of the clouds that are distracting from the real accomplishments of this council.”

Vaughan Today
Online: June 19, 2008 [link]