See also Steve Kupferman's Torontoist report. Kupferman suggests that Ford overspent a $1.3 million dollar limit by forty thousand dollars.
Mayor Rob Ford's 2010 election campaign broke the law, an official audit has found.
Ford may face non-criminal charges. If he is found guilty of violating the Municipal Elections Act, he could be fined or removed from office.
Severe penalties for campaign finance violations are rare in Ontario, and the elections law gives the courts more leeway in sentencing than the conflict of interest law Ford was previously accused of violating.
The audit is now in the hands of the city's compliance audit committee. The committee, composed of three non-politician experts, will decide at an upcoming meeting whether to take no further action or to begin legal proceedings.
If the committee chooses to proceed, the city will hire a special prosecutor. That prosecutor, likely a lawyer in private practice, will decide whether to lay charges. Ford will have the option of plea bargaining.
Regardless of the eventual outcome, the audit findings cast another shadow over Ford’s tumultuous mayoralty — and one that may linger. Any court case could well continue into the 2014 campaign. The special prosecutor could take months just to make a decision on which charges to pursue.
The audit was conducted by Froese Forensic Partners and released Friday. The three compliance audit committee members are chair Douglas Colbourne, a chartered accountant and former chair of the Ontario Municipal Board; John Hollins, former chief electoral officer for Elections Ontario; and Virginia MacLean, a municipal lawyer based in Oakville.