A Belleville man has filed a Notice of Application, requesting the removal of the Mayor of Belleville from his office.
Quinte News has learned that Gary Davidson, has filed a Notice of Application in Ontario Superior Court, claiming a conflict of interest for Taso Christopher.
It is related to a capital budget item, focusing on a proposed roundabout at Farnham Road and Maitland Drive.
In October, the city held capital budget meetings, where council and staff discussed numerous topics, including increasing the budget for Mineral Drive and Maitland Road project (which includes the roundabout) by $1.75 million.
During the first day of talks October 25th, 2016, Mayor Christopher excluded himself from discussion on the roundabout, however when it came to discussion and vote the second day of talks (October 26th, 2016), he did not step away from the table. Christopher voted in favour of the staff recommendation, on a recorded vote of 7-2.
Davidson alleges that Christopher stood to gain financially from the roundabout, because the city would need to acquire land to construct it. Davidson says a numbered company (1576275 Ontario Inc), which Christopher is a director, officer or shareholder of, owns 427 Farnham Road.
As part of the required land needed for the project, the Application says the city would need to buy the land. It continues saying because the city needs the property, it could increase the value of the land.
In the Notice of Application, Davidson is calling for the removal of Christopher from his position as mayor, prohibit him from running for 7 years, and make him repay personal monetary gain (plus interest) from the purchase. Davidson’s requests are the maximums called for under the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act. Davidson, a Belleville resident is also requesting His Worship cover court costs.
The Applicant says he became aware of the alleged conflict of interest on December 9th.
Quinte News has reached out to Mayor Christopher and are waiting a response. Gary Davidson and his lawyer Tony Fleming declined to comment.
A hearing is taking place June 30th, 2017 at 10:00 a.m.
None of the claims have been proven in court.