x

Politics

Toronto Councillor Jim Karygiannis Kicked out of Office for Election Expense Violation

November 13, 2019

TORONTO, CANADA – Greek-Canadian Jim Karygiannis, a city council member in Toronto was kicked out of office on November 6 following months of “fighting with city officials over questionable election expenses,” the Toronto Sun reported.

City clerk Ulli Watkiss made the announcement via press release which said she “served notice to Karygiannis that he is no longer the councillor for Ward 22 due to the supplementary financial statement he filed for the municipal election last year,” CBC reported, adding that “under the Municipal Elections Act, every candidate is required to file a financial statement for the election,” and “Mr. Karygiannis is in default of the Act and is disqualified from being elected or appointed to any office until after the 2022 municipal election.”

Karygiannis “exceeded the expense limit for ‘parties and other expressions of appreciation’ by $25,962.70 in the last municipal election,” the Sun reported, adding that “under the Municipal Elections Act, Karygiannis was only permitted to spend $6,128 or 10% of his allotted total — $61,207.95 — on parties and other thank yous,” and “according to his own audited financial statements, the long-time Liberal politician spent $32,083.50 on such expenses during the 2018 campaign.”

“The Act does not give the City Clerk any latitude or discretion on this matter,” Watkiss said in her statement, the Sun reported.
“In early July, the city’s compliance audit committee ordered that Karygiannis be subject to a compliance audit following an application from long-time City Hall watcher Adam Chaleff,” the Sun reported, noting that “the audit was put on hold when Karygiannis appealed the ruling to Ontario Superior Court on constitutional grounds” and “a court date was set for next February,” while “the Compliance Audit Committee ordered a second audit in mid-July.”

Karygiannis told the Sun on Wednesday evening “that upon close examination of his Supplementary Financial statement, it has been ascertained that there was a ‘clerical error’ in completing the paperwork.”

“I am in contact with my solicitor and auditor in order to correct the error,” he told the Sun. “I look forward to being re-instated as the City of Toronto Councillor for Ward 22.”

On November 7, one day after the announcement of his dismissal, Karygiannis told the Toronto Star, “I’m looking to come back and serve my constituents. The phone calls have not stopped, the emails have not stopped, and the conversations with my constituents have not stopped. I’m looking forward to returning sometime in the near future in order to represent my constituents.”

Karygiannis ran in a close race against Norm Kelly, a veteran councillor and only declared $43,812 of his $61,207.95 spending limit in his financial statements, the Sun reported, adding that “he declared another $146,645.67 as expenses not subject to the limit, including $81,000 worth of honoraria to 18 people” and “those honoraria were paid to an immigration lawyer, his senior legislative assistant, a would-be Liberal candidate and an intern with the Liberal Party of Canada, among others.”

Fundraising activities were expensed at $47,259 and included “a BBQ with a lion dance before the election and a pre-Christmas, post-election event at Santorini Grill,” the Sun reported.

Watkiss’ statement noted that “the City Clerk will report to Toronto City Council at its next meeting on November 26, outlining next steps with respect to declaring the seat vacant, as prescribed by the City of Toronto Act, 2006. In the interim, staff in the Ward 22 office will continue to support residents in the ward, and will report to the City Clerk until the office is filled by appointment or by-election.”

RELATED

LONDON - Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis had a meeting with Greeks of the diaspora while in London on Wednesday, during which he highlighted the options that Greeks living abroad now have to vote in Greek elections from their place of residence, as well as his government's emphasis on reforms.

Top Stories

Church

BOSTON – The Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Alexandria in its recent meeting dealt with the ecclesiastical coup perpetrated by the Patriarchate of Moscow in its canonical jurisdiction, calling it an “immoral invasion and intrusion.

Church

NEW YORK - Some 21 years after it was destroyed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States that brought down the Twin Towers in New York City, the new St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church rising in its place is among the most eagerly awaited architectural openings of 2022.

Events

STATEN ISLAND, NY – For yet another year, the community of Holy Trinity-St Nicholas in Staten Island honored couples celebrating 50+ years of marriage with a modest ceremony held at the church immediately following the Divine Liturgy on January 16.

Video

The National Herald’s Happenings of the Week by Eraklis Diamataris

The National Herald’s Happenings of the Week (Jan 15 – Jan 21) as have been reported at the print and digital editions of TNH and presented by the TNH Editor Eraklis Diamataris.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.