OPP investigating whether Toronto councillor broke election rules
Coun. Justin Di Ciano is shown in this photo. (City of Toronto)
Chris Fox, CP24.com
Published Friday, March 9, 2018 10:36AM EST
Last Updated Friday, November 16, 2018 10:38AM EST
Ontario Provincial Police have laid charges against two Toronto city councillors under the Municipal Elections Act.
Mark Grimes and Justin Di Ciano have both been charged with one count of filing a document that is incorrect or does not otherwise comply with the act following an investigation by the OPP’s Anti-Rackets Branch.
The charges relate to their 2014 municipal election filings.
In a news release, OPP say that they began an investigation in September, 2017 after receiving a request for assistance from the Toronto Police Service. They say that the request was in relation to information that was passed on to police by the city’s integrity commissioner.
Back in March CP24 did report that police were looking into alleged violations of the Municipal Elections Act by Di Ciano.
In a statement at the time, OPP said that the Anti Rackets Branch “commenced a review to ascertain if there was sufficient evidence to warrant an investigation” and determined that there was.
OPP have not released any information about the evidence that led them to lay charges, citing the “integrity of the investigation and any ensuing court processes.”
In a statement on Friday morning, a lawyer retained by Di Ciano said that his client “looks forward to setting the record straight on any alleged clerical errors in his 2014 campaign expense return.”
“The real offence here is the extraordinary waste of scarce government resources spent chasing down minor alleged oversights regarding a long forgotten municipal election campaign,” Scott Fenton said.
Grimes has been a city councillor since 2003 and received an endorsement from Mayor John Tory in the most recent municipal election, which he won by about 6,000 votes.
Di Ciano, meanwhile, did not run for re-election in October and will no longer be a city councillor as of Nov.30.
OPP say that their investigation is continuing and are encouraging anyone with information to contact the OPP Anti-Rackets Branch at (705) 329-6420 or Crime Stoppers at 1 (800) 222-TIPS (8477).
The accused are scheduled to appear before the Ontario Court of Justice at 2201 Finch Avenue West on Dec. 19.