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Mammoliti appeals forensic audit of his election expenses

Although he has initially vowed to live with the decision, Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti has decided to go to court to fight a forensic review of his election expenses ordered last month by council's compliance audit committee.

In a court filing obtained by The Globe and Mail, Mr. Mammoliti's lawyer Jack Siegel said the outspoken North York councillor didn't get a fair hearing and also claimed that the lawyer representing the retired Toronto school teacher who made the initial complaint may have had a bias.

Earlier this year, David DePoe alleged that Mr. Mammoliti's reported election finances had failed to account for about $8,000 in various expenses, such as rental payments on a campaign office. The three-person committee ordered an audit in late January.

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The allegations have not been proven, and Mr. Mammoliti, who was the subject of an earlier compliance audit request, has insisted he abided by the rules governing election expenses.

In an interview Wednesday, he said he has the right to appeal, but was circumspect about change of heart. "There is information that has come to light that my lawyer feels is important," he said, but declined to elaborate. "You can put two plus two together."

The notice of appeal, sent by fax to the city clerk on Feb. 10, says that Mr. Mammoliti was "unfairly prejudiced" because his lawyer, Paul-Erik Veel, "has previously acted as counsel to the City Solicitor on other matters adverse to the Appellant, thereby creating a reasonable apprehension of bias."

"We still haven't figured out why he thinks the lawyer could be disqualified," Mr. DePoe said. "I think we have a solid case. They're complaining about trivial things."

In the past, Mr. Mammoliti has made various allegations about his accusers, claiming he is the target of a left-wing conspiracy. He described Mr. DePoe as a former Communist, a claim Mr. DePoe said was inaccurate.

Editor's note: The Globe reported that Mr. Mammoliti's lawyer, Jack Siegel, said the lawyer representing David DePoe may have had a conflict of interest. There was no alleged conflict of interest: the notice of appeal stated it was "a reasonable apprehension of bias."

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