The Ontario Municipal Act can be cut and dried in regulations regarding conflict of interest.
Locally, the Mayor of Belleville, Taso Christopher has been accused of breaking conflict of interest rules by voting on a project that involved some property that he owned.
Belleville resident and realtor Gary Davidson filed a Notice of Application with Superior Court in Kingston making the claims against the Mayor earlier this week.
In the Municipal Act, if it’s found a member had “no excuse” for breaching the Act the verdict is automatic. The member must vacate his or her seat, cannot run for council again for 7 years, and must pay restitution for financial gain, if applicable.
However, a member can be excused of the breach if it’s found the action was “inadvertent” or an “error in judgement”. In that case the member does not vacate his or her seat and is not disqualified. However, restitution for financial gain could still be enforced.
A hearing on the Davidson/Christopher matter is scheduled for June 30th