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Audit finds Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti’s 2010 election campaign overspent legal limit by $12,065


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RENE JOHNSTON/TORONTO STAR An audit has found that Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti overspent in the 2010 election campaign.

A city-commissioned audit says Giorgio Mammoliti’s 2010 council campaign overspent the allowable limit by $ 12,065 in “apparent contravention” of the provincial Municipal Elections Act.

The 43-page audit released Friday found other “additional apparent contraventions in relation to contributions, campaign expenses, and financial reporting,” by the campaign of the veteran Ward 7 York West councillor.

The city’s compliance audit committee will discuss the findings at its Feb. 4 meeting. The panel of three experts can choose to do nothing or refer the findings to a special prosecutor for possible legal action.

If a court found Mammoliti guilty of breaching the Act, he would be ousted from office.

An audit by the same firm into the 2010 campaign financing of Mayor Rob Ford — who will be ousted if he loses an appeal of a finding that he breached another provincial act — will be released this month, the auditor says. The Feb. 4 meeting, however, will deal solely with the audit of Mammoliti.

Mammoliti initially registered to run for mayor on Jan. 5, 2010 but dropped out well before the Oct. 25, 2010 election and filed to run for re-election as councillor on July 9, 2010.

Auditors Bruce Armstrong and Glen R. Davison noted Mammoliti’s lawyer Jack Siegel’s contention that there were “accounting issues” divvying expenses between the two campaigns.

The auditors also noted that Mammoliti’s campaign reported “difficulties” with the chartered accountant who acted as campaign accountant and auditor for both campaigns, but pointed out the candidate is ultimately responsible.

Audit findings include:

 • Mammoliti’s legal spending limit based on the ward population was $ 27,464.65 but unreported or misallocated expenses boosted actual spending to $ 39,530.

 • The campaign attributed pre-Aug. 27, 2010 spending not specifically linked to the council race to the aborted mayoral campaign. Auditors said 70 per cent of post-Aug. 1 expenses should have been allocated to the council campaign.

 • Mammoliti’s personal American Express card was used to pay for some expenses that were “subsequently either omitted from the campaign expenses or reflected incorrectly in the Financial Statements.” They include thousands of dollars in cellphone, internet, fax and printing bills omitted or wrongly attributed to the mayoral campaign.

 • Mammoliti didn’t pay one month’s rent on his 2958 Islington Ave. campaign office, amounting to a “contribution in kind” by landlord Amone brothers of $ 768.40, an apparent contravention of the Act.

 •  Some $ 1,710.97 in brochure printing costs were not reported. Another $ 2,710.97 were improperly listed as being not subject to the spending limit.

 • Revenue of $ 26,475 listed as coming from a fundraising event that had no apparent expenses actually came from “direct solicitation initiatives.”

 • Four contributions were deposited on or after the allowable period.

 • The campaign accepted two contributions totalling $ 900 from the same person on Jan. 18, 2011 despite the $ 750 donation limit.

The compliance audit committee ordered the probe last January after Toronto resident David DePoe lodged a complaint. At the time, Mammoliti told reporters he had no plans to go to court to fight the audit — as Ford initially did — saying: “I have nothing to hide.”

According to the Municipal Elections Act, anyone found guilty of breaching the act “forfeits any office to which he or she was elected,” and can’t run again until the next general election, disqualifying them from any byelection or appointment process.

thestar.com – News