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City council votes to hold by-election to replace Jim Karygiannis

Last Updated Oct 27, 2020 at 11:57 am EST

Jim Karygiannis

Toronto city council has voted 24-0 in favour of holding a by-election to replace Jim Karygiannis in Ward 22.

Karygiannis was removed from office after losing a lengthy legal battle over election spending.

Council had the option to appoint someone, but voted unanimously in favour of a by-election.

The saga began when Toronto resident Adam Chaleff ordered an audit on Karygiannis’ 2018 election spending. The audit found that he exceeded the allowable spending amount by more than $25,000, leading to his removal as councillor last November.

But Karygiannis argued it was a “clerical error” in paperwork and a Superior Court judge gave him the benefit of the doubt, ruling that it would be “unfair” to subject Karygiannis “to the extreme punishment of forfeiture of offence, when there was an inadvertent error made …”

Karygiannis was ousted for the second time in June after the Court of Appeal overturned his reinstatement.

But he was back in office once again after he was granted a stay on that decision while he tried to have his appeal heard by the Supreme Court of Canada.

But in late September the Supreme Court denied his request, exhausting his legal options and ending his tenure at City Hall.

Karygiannis released a brief statement on his website, thanking his constituents and saying he was “leaving politics.”

“After 32 years serving as your Member of Parliament and your Toronto City Councillor, I am leaving politics. It has been an honour and privilege to serve the people of Scarborough-Agincourt. I want to thank them for the trust they have shown me.”