Ontario Provincial Police have charged a current and soon-to-be former city councillor following an investigation into irregularities under the Municipal Elections Act.
Mark Grimes, who was elected in Ward 3 Etobicoke—Lakeshore, and Justin Di Ciano, who did not run in the last municipal election, both face charges of filing an incorrect document under the Act dating back to the 2014 municipal election.
The OPP’s Anti-Rackets Branch was called in to investigate following a referral from the city’s Integrity Commissioner in September 2017.
The OPP confirmed to CityNews that the charges relate to allegations both men did not disclose $26,000 in campaign expenses and that the pair may have benefited in polling and research paid for by a developer during the 2014 municipal election campaign.
Police say, if found guilty, they pair could also be barred from running in at least the next two municipal elections.
In a statement released by Grimes from his lawyer he says he has done “nothing wrong” and that the allegation relates to additional financial disclosure for his campaign from four years ago which he claims was not required.
“There is no credible evidence to support the allegation, which was made for political purposes,” reads the statement.
A statement released by Di Ciano’s attorney says they look forward to setting the record straight on what they claim is a clerical error in his 2014 campaign expense form.
“The real offence here is the extraordinary waste of scarce government resources spent chasing down minor alleged oversights regarding a long-forgotten municipal election campaign,” said the statement.
Both Grimes and Di Ciano will be in court to answer the charges on Dec. 19.
If the pair are found guilty of the charges, the penalties can include fines of up to $25,000 and/or six months in jail.