Toronto city councillor Jim Karygiannis has been removed from office over an alleged election expense violation.
In a news release issued Wednesday, the city said that the Ward 22 councillor spent $32,083.50 on “parties and other expressions of appreciation” after the 2018 election, which exceeds the expense limit by $25,962.70.
“Under the [Municipal Elections] Act, every candidate is required to file a financial statement for the 2018 election,” the news release reads.
“The Act allows candidates to spend a maximum amount of money in an election. For Ward 22 in 2018, that total was $61,207.95, with a maximum of 10 per cent – or $6,120.80 – to be spent for “parties and other expressions of appreciation” after voting day.”
In a statement released Wednesday evening, Karygiannis said he is working with his solicitor and auditor to “correct the error”.
“I look forward to the Clerk reversing her decision as it was based on an error and being re-installed as the City of Toronto Councillor for Ward 22.,” Karygiannis said.
— Natalie Johnson (@NatalieCTV) November 6, 2019
A former Liberal MP, Karygiannis served on city council since 2014, representing Scarborough-Agincourt, beating out Norm Kelly in 2018.
Speaking to CP24, city of Toronto spokesperson Brad Ross said that the seat for Ward 22 will be declared vacant, unless the courts say otherwise.
“The candidate, Mr. Karygiannis in this case, should seek legal counsel and look at his options.”
Toronto Mayor John Tory called the incident “sudden and shocking”.
“Councillor Karygiannis worked hard over the last five years at City Hall to serve the residents of Scarborough-Agincourt. I will be working to make sure those residents continue to be well-served by the City.”
My statement on Jim Karygiannis. pic.twitter.com/ERA8SDvdRM
— John Tory (@JohnTory) November 6, 2019