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Former Toronto councillor goes to Supreme Court to try to reclaim council seat

Jim Karygiannis
Jim Karygiannis. Adrian Wyld / The Canadian Press

Jim Karygiannis will be going to Canada’s highest court to try to return to Toronto City Council.

His lawyer, Adrienne Lei, confirmed Saturday that she will proceed with an application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court the decision that had Karygiannis removed from office.

On Wednesday Karygiannis lost his council seat for the second time after a Court of Appeal ruling regarding 2018 election expenses.

Read more: Toronto Coun. Jim Karygiannis removed from office again after Appeal Court decision

Karygiannis was first removed from office in early November 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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That decision was later overturned in a Superior Court, reinstating Karygiannis. Adam Chaleff, a fair election advocate, then appealed the ruling, which the Appeal Court sided with.

Toronto city councillors ‘shocked’ over Karygiannis’ ousting
Toronto city councillors ‘shocked’ over Karygiannis’ ousting

Lei said in addition to bringing the case to the Supreme Court, the legal team will also be requesting a stay on the Appeal Court’s judgement — meaning he could temporarily return to city council while the matter is before the Supreme Court.

Reached by Global News Toronto by phone Saturday evening, Karygiannis declined to comment.

“I don’t think it’s surprising that he is looking for any possible way to hang on to his job,” Chaleff said regarding the appeal.

Chaleff said he believes democracy should mean electing people to office fairly and that “those who have cheated shouldn’t be there.”

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