Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s conflict-of-interest hearing, which could see him booted from office, has concluded after two days of testimony.

The judge presiding over the case said he would issue his decision in a “timely” manner.

The lawsuit, initiated by Toronto businessman Paul Magder last March, accuses Ford of violating the province’s Municipal Conflict of Interest Act when he spoke and voted in council earlier this year on a matter relating to his private football charity.

Ford appeared to tire of lawyer Clayton Ruby’s arguments on Thursday, at times leaning back in his chair, resting on his hand and sighing.

Ruby said the mayor’s belief he was not in a conflict-of-interest is “simply not believable” for someone with 12 years’ tenure in council.

Ruby also accused Ford of “willful blindness” and denounced his testimony on Wednesday as “gibberish.”

CityNews reporter Cynthia Mulligan and 680News reporter Kevin Misener are at the court. Read their live tweets below



During his four hours on the stand on Wednesday, Ford denied any wrongdoing.

“I believe in my mind in a conflict of interest, the city benefits and the councillor benefits,” Ford told Judge Charles Hackland.

“It takes two parties to have a conflict. In this case, there was only one party. The city did not benefit.”

The allegations stem from a speech and council vote on Feb. 7  to strike down a recommendation that he repay more than $3,000 in donations for his private football foundation solicited using official city letterhead and the time of city staffer.

Ford admitted that at the time, he didn’t think he had violated any rules when he used his staff in 2010 to help him stuff envelopes and address them to potential donors, some of whom were lobbyists who often did business with the city.

He added that the envelopes and stationery had been paid with his personal account.

But the city’s integrity commissioner, Janet Leiper, found Ford’s actions broke the conduct code for councillors.

She recommended Ford pay back $3,150 to the donors.

Council adopted the commissioner’s findings and sanction in a resolution Ford voted against — but he never made the repayments, despite six reminders from the commissioner.

Ford testified Wednesday that following the commissioner’s decision, he sent letters to the 11 donors offering to pay their money back.

Some had refused the reimbursement, while others did not respond, he said.

If found guilty, Ford could be ousted from office and barred from running for city council for seven years.

However, there’s a chance Ford could stay even if found to be at fault, provided the judge believes the mayor made a mistake or experienced a lapse in judgment.

—With files from The Canadian Press