GTA

Jim Karygiannis to lose Toronto city council seat after latest court ruling

Toronto city councillor Jim Karygiannis has been removed from office for a second time after the Ontario Court of Appeal overturned his previous reinstatement.

Karygiannis initially lost his council seat due to alleged campaign spending violations dating to the 2018 municipal election.

He was reinstated by a Superior Court judge in November 2019.

Adam Chaleff, the Toronto voter who appealed the Superior Court ruling, confirmed his victory at the Court of Appeal on Wednesday morning.

Chaleff argued that the judge made errors in his decision to reinstate Karygiannis, and that his return to council “would signal to every local politician in the province that they can overspend with impunity on their election campaigns because they can run to court afterwards to keep their office.”

The Scarborough-Agincourt councillor spent more than $32,000 on a voter appreciation dinner, which is nearly $26,000 more than the limit set out in provincial regulations.

Karygiannis argued the expense amounted to a “clerical error,” since he made no obvious attempt to conceal the spending in his filings.

The ruling also found that Ontario’s Superior Court did not have the jurisdiction to reinstate Karygiannis following his removal from office.

However, the judge overseeing the latest appeal said Karygiannis “has not clearly demonstrated” that the spending was merely a clerical error.

CBC

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