Toronto resident Paul Magder filed a lawsuit earlier this year against Mayor Rob Ford for allegedly violating the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act at a council meeting.

Magder accused Ford of breaking the act when the mayor debated and voted with council in February on a matter relating to his personal football charity.

In early 2010, Ford, then a city councillor, used his office stationery and the time of a city employee to solicit donations for the Rob Ford Football Foundation.

The city’s integrity commissioner Janet Leiper found that he had violated the code of conduct for councillors and recommended that he repay $3,150 in donations from lobbyists and a corporation that did business with the city.

Despite six reminders from Leiper and council ordering him to do so in August, Ford didn’t repay the sum. The commissioner then raised the issue again with council earlier this year.

On Feb. 7, Ford made a speech and then voted with council 22-12 to let himself off the hook for not repaying those donors.

Ontario Superior Court Justice Charles Hackland, who tried the civil case launched by Magder, ruled Monday morning the mayor violated the rules.

According to the act, a council member must “refrain from taking any part in the consideration or discussion of the matter and from voting on any question relating to the matter.”

The member must also refrain from influencing council’s decision with respect to the matter during or after the meeting.

If the judge determines that Ford contravened the act, he shall declare the member’s seat vacant and direct that the vacancy be filled in a manner prescribed by law.

The member would have the right to appeal the decision under the act.

No steps can be taken to fill the vacancy until after an appeal.