Credits: Craig Robertson/Toronto Sun/QMI Agency
TORONTO -- It's Decision Day for Mayor Rob Ford.
A ruling in a conflict of interest case will come down Monday - with the possible outcomes for Ford ranging from vindication to removal from office and a seven-year ban on running again.
"I think the mayor will still be the mayor on Monday," deputy mayor Doug Holyday said last week.
"There's also the matter of an appeal that could be launched if something came about that either side didn't like."
A citizen brought the complaint against Ford, accusing him of being in a conflict of interest when he voted last February on whether to adopt an integrity commissioner's report into his own behaviour.
Commissioner Janet Leiper had ordered Ford to pay back $3,000 in donations to his football foundation, saying he had used his council position to solicit the money.
Ford argued and voted against adopting the report and won, with council deciding to rescind Leiper's ruling.
City officials said if the mayor does get punted, Holyday will step into the role, at least temporarily.
"City bylaws stipulate that the deputy mayor has all powers and duties of the mayor when this office is vacant, with the exception of his membership on community councils," Wynna Brown, manager of media relations and issues management for the city's strategic communications division, said.
"Provisions require that a meeting of city council to select a method of filling an unexpected vacancy be held."
Council meets Tuesday and could presumably decide then whether to leave Holyday in the post for the duration of Ford's term, ending in 2014, appoint someone else from council to fill the job or hold an election at a cost of about $7 million.
"There's a very distinct possibility that council - if the judge decided the mayor wasn't the mayor - could well decide that one of them was," Holyday said.
"It's a hypothetical question of course, but I'm not willing to support someone who is going to change the agenda. If that appeared to be one of the options that was going to succeed, I'd want to have an election."
Despite the drama surrounding the case, the machinery of government marches on. Ford's office put out a news release Friday stating the mayor's annual Christmas Toy Drive would launch Monday at 1 p.m. - three hours after the ruling was expected - with his honour in attendance.