TORONTO — Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is less than two weeks away from trading city hall’s political theatre for some courtroom drama.
Ford has been ordered to testify on Sept. 5 when the conflict of interest case against him goes to court.
The mayor’s testimony could potentially sink or save his mayoralty. If Ford loses the case he could be removed from office and face a seven-year ban from running for council.
Lawyer Clayton Ruby launched the conflict of interest lawsuit last March on behalf of resident Paul Magder.
Ruby’s law firm issued a press release Friday announcing the mayor would have to take the stand.
According to the press release, it was decided Ford would testify in open court during an all-parties teleconference Friday convened by Ottawa-based Regional Senior Justice Charles Hackland.
Ford has already filed an affidavit and been cross-examined outside of court. According to the release, Magder’s lawyers requested the mayor testify in open court “because Mayor Ford’s credibility is in issue in this case.”
Ford’s office issued a statement Friday afternoon vowing that he welcomes his day in court.
“Mayor Rob Ford is proud of the work that he does with disadvantaged youth across the City of Toronto,” the statement read. “The Mayor is looking forward to his day in court.”
Back in March, Ruby alleged Ford violated the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act during a city council meeting on Feb. 7.
At that February meeting, council voted 22-12 to rescind an earlier decision on an integrity commissioner complaint against then-councillor Rob Ford and directed “that no further action be taken on this matter.” The vote determined Ford no longer had to repay $3,150 in donations to his children’s football foundation which came from lobbyists and clients of lobbyists.
Ford took part in the debate and voted on the item.