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Toronto Mammoliti broke campaign spending rules, audit says

Councillor Georgio Mammoliti during a Toronto City Council Meeting in Toronto Nov. 27, 2012.

Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail

Toronto city councillor Giorgio Mammoliti's 2010 election campaign exceeded the authorized spending limit by just over $12,000, says an audit that could lead to his loss of office.

The audit, released Friday, said the Ward 7 York West councillor violated Section 76(4) of the Municipal Elections Act by going over the campaign expense limit of $27,464.65.

An audit committee will meet Feb. 4 to determine whether to commence legal proceedings. Under the act, Mr. Mammoliti could face a fine, imprisonment, or be ineligible to run for office for up to eight years.

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If he knowingly exceeded the campaign limit, Mr. Mammoliti could be forced from office.

Several messages left for the councillor Friday were not returned. His lawyer also could not be reached for comment.

The 43-page audit said Mr. Mammoliti overspent the limit by $12,065 and appeared to contravene the act with a number of expenses – from office rent, to advertising, to an internet connection.

The audit said that under Section 69 of the act Mr. Mammoliti is "ultimately responsible for the integrity of the books."

"Mammoliti initially ran for mayor and subsequently aborted that campaign and ran as a councillor," the audit said. "We accept counsel's explanation that this caused accounting issues in allocating expenses between the two campaigns. In addition to this issue, some of the expenses incurred on the personal American Express Card of Mammoliti ("AMEX") were either omitted from the campaign expenses or reflected incorrectly in the financial statements, and in most cases are apparent contraventions of … the act."

Mr. Mammoliti won his 2010 campaign by 1,737 ballots, picking up just under 44 per cent of the vote.

He made headlines in November when he resigned from Mayor Rob Ford's executive committee after the mayor was found guilty of conflict of interest.

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The audit was conducted by Bruce Armstrong and Glen Davison. Mr. Armstrong is also working on an audit of Mayor Ford's 2010 election finances.

Mr. Armstrong said Friday he's still hoping to issue the report into the mayor's finances by the end of the month.

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