Politics
BREAKING - Rob Ford wins appeal, remains Mayor of Toronto

Mayor Rob Ford speaks to the media at City Hall in what could be Rob Ford's last day in office in Toronto January 24, 2013.

Credits: Dave Abel / Toronto SUN

DON PEAT | QMI AGENCY

TORONTO - Mayor Rob Ford, the bombastic right-wing politician who was elected on a promise to stop City Hall's gravy train just over two years ago, has won his appeal.

A tight-lipped, weary-looking Ford emerged from his City Hall office on Thursday -- possibly his last full day as mayor -- to say he was hoping "for the best" in the conflict of interest appeal that has left his political future teetering on the scales of justice.

"I know you have a lot of questions, unfortunately I can't say too much before (Friday's) decision," Ford said. "I look forward to (the decision). I believe in the judicial system. Let's hope for the best."

At 10:30 a.m. the public is expected to find out if Ford has won his divisional court appeal of the decision tossing him out of the mayor's chair almost two years before his elected term was supposed to end. The ruling will come from the three-judge panel mulling whether there are any errors of law in the original decision that found Ford broke the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act during a council meeting last February.

The mayor's staff have prepared two speeches ahead of the ruling: One if Ford must vacate his office and one if he survives this latest court battle.

Ford wouldn't say Thursday whether he would try to get reappointed by council or cheer on a byelection if he gets removed from office. He has come out in favour of both options in the past few weeks.

Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday said if Ford is removed, he hopes to call a council meeting next Wednesday or Thursday to determine how to replace him.

Councillor Doug Ford told Newstalk 1010 host John Tory Thursday night that the Fords were "anxious" to get the decision.

"We're strong believers in the justice system," he said. "We just look forward to moving forward and getting a decision.

Ford said he would want a byelection held to fill his brother's vacant seat.

Vocal Ford critic Councillor Adam Vaughan said the mayor can only blame himself for the legal mess he finds himself in.

"Who else can you blame but the person who is responsible for the decisions that got him to where he is," Vaughan said. "Rob Ford is Rob Ford's worst enemy. Try as I might to be his nemesis, I've never been as good at unseating Rob Ford as Rob Ford has been at unseating himself."

-- With files from Shawn Jeffords

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