Belleville’s mayor found to be in conflict of interest, but no penalty issued

Kingston, ON, Canada / CKWS TV
Belleville’s mayor found to be in conflict of interest, but no penalty issued

Belleville mayor Taso Christopher has been found guilty of violating the province’s Conflict of Interest Act, but he will not be removed from office for doing so.

The conflict case was heard in a Kingston courtroom on June 30 and the decision was released late last week.

It stems from the city of Belleville’s capital budget meetings in October 2016 and was brought forward by Belleville realtor Gary Davidson.

Council was about to begin debate on spending money to build a roundabout at Farnham Road and Maitland Drive.

Christopher declared a conflict, because a piece property he owned would need to be purchased by the city to build the roundabout.

However, the following day when the vote came up he participated and voted in favour of the move.

In his decision, Justice Timothy Rae noted that while the mayor did breach conflict of interest rules, he said Christopher “committed an error in judgement” but he should not be removed from office.

Christopher was not available for comment.

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