Embattled mayor to release response to court decision today
Mayor Linda Jackson says she will release a statement later today in response to a court ruling by Ontario Superior Court Justice Peter Lauwers released last night.
Lauwers’ decision dismissed Jackson’s claims that council’s unanimous decision in June to pursue charges after a court-ordered audit of her campaign finances hinged on a series of illegal actions.
The audit found several apparent contraventions of the Municipal Elections Act, including spending $12,356 over Jackson’s $120,419 campaign limit.
Lauwers’ decision also dismissed Jackson’s constitutional challenge of a portion of the act, which she said breached section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Jackson’s legal challenge had blocked city-retained prosecutor Timothy Wilkin from laying charges against her. Lauwers’ ruling clears the way for Wilkin.
Jackson could face removal from office if found guilty of the more serious charges Wilkin may choose to pursue.
Reports are also circulating that council is considering whether to pursue legal action against Jackson’s husband and 2006 campaign manager, Mario Campese. According to the auditors’ report, “Campese was responsible for all financial aspects of the campaign”.
“With respect to my husband, I will confer with my lawyer more than likely tomorrow on that issue,” Jackson said today via email.
Vaughan Today Online: March 12, 2009 [link]