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Mayor Ford must pay own legal bills: court

Mayor Rob Ford responding to reporters' questions at city hall, March 26, 2013. CITYNEWS

Mayor Rob Ford must pay his own legal bills after he was found not guilty in a conflict-of-interest case, a panel of judges ruled Tuesday.

Ford was seeking $116,000 from Toronto resident Paul Magder, who filed the lawsuit.

The three judges on the panel — Edward Then, Lynne Leitch, and Katherine Swinton — found that Ford must pay his own bills for three reasons.

Ford was unsuccessful of three of the four challenges he made to the appeal; the proceeding raised “novel” legal issues; and Magder’s lawsuit was “reasonable.”

“Accordingly, we order that each party bear his costs of the appeal, the stay motion and the application,” the judges wrote in their decision.

Ford called the decision “ridiculous.”

“I won it fair and square; I think Magder should pay,” the mayor told reporters.

“I’ve got to swallow over 100 grand … it’s a lot of money.”

Magder launched the conflict-of-interest lawsuit against the mayor last year over $3,150 donated to Ford’s private football charity, which the city’s integrity commissioner said was solicited using city resources and violated the province’s Conflict of Interest Act.

In November, Ontario Superior Court Justice Charles Hackland ruled against Ford in the case and he was ordered out of office. The decision was later overturned by an Ontario Divisional Court panel.

Last month, Magder’s lawyer Clayton Ruby said he would be asking the Supreme Court of Canada to overturn the ruling that allowed Ford to stay in the mayor’s chair.

With files from The Canadian Press