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Appeal filed against court ruling that reinstated Toronto city councillor Jim Karygiannis

Jim Karygiannis plans to run in Scarborough-Agincourt
Jim Karygiannis was reinstated as Ward 22 councillor following a Nov. 25. decision. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Aaron Vincent Elkaim

A Toronto resident says he has filed an appeal against a court decision that reinstated Toronto city councillor Jim Karygiannis.

Adam Chaleff, who calls himself a “fair elections advocate,” said Monday morning that the appeal was filed against the Nov. 25 Ontario Superior Court decision.

In a statement, Chaleff said the appeal argues that the decision included “both errors of law as well as an error of mixed fact and law.”

READ MORE: Court rules ousted Toronto city councillor Jim Karygiannis can return to office

Chaleff also claims that the court may have not had jurisdiction to reinstate Karygiannis in the first place.

“I was made aware by my lawyer,” Karygiannis said of the appeal Monday.  “I’m just going to wait until my legal team responds and we’ll go from there.”

In early November, Karygiannis was removed from office after Toronto City Clerk Ulli Watkiss said he could no longer continue in his role based on a supplementary financial statement filed after the 2018 municipal election. Among the issues was thousands of dollars spent on a post-election party at Santorini Grill.

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However, that decision was overturned with the Superior Court ruling in which Justice William S. Chalmers said he found “that Mr. Karygiannis acted in good faith with respect to the filing of the financial statements.”

Toronto City Council tackles poverty and housing, ousted councillor returns
Toronto City Council tackles poverty and housing, ousted councillor returns

Chalmers said the penalties under the Municipal Election Act do not apply if the candidate was “acting in good faith.”

“If left unchallenged, Justice Chalmers’ decision would signal to every local politician in the province that they can overspend with impunity on their election campaigns because they can run to court afterwards to keep their office,” Chaleff said.

Meanwhile, a separate review of Karygiannis’ 2018 election expenses is being conducted by a compliance audit committee.

– With files from Nick Westoll

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