Chapman awaits decision on audit

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

Dundas resident Joanna Chapman has reserved her right to appeal mayor Larry Di Ianni's apparent election finance contraventions to court if councillors do nothing about it, says her lawyer.

"If no approval is given by council (to investigate it further), she has the option to take it to court, as she did before," said Eric Gillespie.

The long-awaited compliance audit, ordered by Justice Timothy Culver in August, was released to councillors this week and revealed that Di Ianni had five "apparent contraventions" of the Municipal Elections Act, and one apparent reporting contravention.

Ken Froese, director of LECG Canada, who conducted the audit on Di Ianni's campaign finances, also identified 16 potential contraventions by contributors, but said they were "appropriately addressed by the candidate."

Chapman laid private charges against 18 companies for violating the Municipal Elections Act. A pre-trial hearing has been scheduled for Dec. 21 at 9 a.m.

Froese stated in his report that Di Ianni, has been "fully cooperative and forthcoming" during the investigation. Di Ianni acknowledged that "controls" should have been in place to better manage the donations to his campaign.

The audit found that 24 corporations or groups exceeded the $750 limit, for a total excess contribution of nearly $11,000, and two individuals exceeded the $750 limit for a total of $500. Froese noted that Di Ianni refunded the money to the respective contributors.

The five contributors that apparently violated the Act included the YMCA, a numbered Quebec-owned company, the estate of Nick Schwartz, Gresko Milligan, and the Hamilton Bulldogs. Village Green Denture Clinic had a reporting contravention of the Act, and in-kind contributions by Fercan Investments and Italo Ferrari, each for $750, "raised further questions" for Froese. Froese stated the audit did not reveal any contraventions to Di Ianni's expenses.

The auditor said that a number of contributors identified by Chapman should be "addressed through an extension of the compliance audit."

The audit, says Gillespie, has only helped his client's case against the corporations who exceeded their campaign donation limit to Di Ianni. "It confirms the majority of the allegations," he said."It also includes five contraventions by companies that are still under investigation."

Chapman laid private charges against 18 companies in relation to over-contributions to Di Ianni's 2003 municipal campaign. Di Ianni returned about $20,000, once he discovered the accounting errors.

Of the 18 companies charged, the majority of them are in Hamilton. They include DeSantis Real Estate Ltd., Fifty Road Joint Ventures Inc., Losani Homes Ltd., Starward Homes Management Ltd., Doral Property Management, Homelife Effect Realty Inc. and Sahar's Hospitality Inc. The 17 corporations alleged to have contravened the Act overcontributed between $50 to $1,250. Penalties under the Act allow for a fine of up to $25,000 for corporations.

Gillespie said his client was planning to wait and see what city council would do at last week's scheduled meeting.

Under the Municipal Elections Act, council has 30 days to determine what to do with the report, including whether any legal action should be taken. Penalties under the Act allow for a fine of up to $5,000 for violators. The act also includes the removal of the politician from office.

Politicians in their July, 2004 meeting rejected a plea from Chapman to conduct a compliance audit. She subsequently took the matter to court where Justice Culver ordered council to pay for the $25,000-audit.

The audit also included a review of council candidate John Best and former councillor Marvin Caplan.

Best said the audit confirmed what he had known all along. His transgression involved one contribution that exceeded the $750 limit. He cleared it up once he knew about it. But there are more questions surrounding Caplan's campaign finances. The report on his documents has been delayed for about two weeks for more financial information.

Chapman awaits decision on audit

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

Dundas resident Joanna Chapman has reserved her right to appeal mayor Larry Di Ianni's apparent election finance contraventions to court if councillors do nothing about it, says her lawyer.

"If no approval is given by council (to investigate it further), she has the option to take it to court, as she did before," said Eric Gillespie.

The long-awaited compliance audit, ordered by Justice Timothy Culver in August, was released to councillors this week and revealed that Di Ianni had five "apparent contraventions" of the Municipal Elections Act, and one apparent reporting contravention.

Ken Froese, director of LECG Canada, who conducted the audit on Di Ianni's campaign finances, also identified 16 potential contraventions by contributors, but said they were "appropriately addressed by the candidate."

Chapman laid private charges against 18 companies for violating the Municipal Elections Act. A pre-trial hearing has been scheduled for Dec. 21 at 9 a.m.

Froese stated in his report that Di Ianni, has been "fully cooperative and forthcoming" during the investigation. Di Ianni acknowledged that "controls" should have been in place to better manage the donations to his campaign.

The audit found that 24 corporations or groups exceeded the $750 limit, for a total excess contribution of nearly $11,000, and two individuals exceeded the $750 limit for a total of $500. Froese noted that Di Ianni refunded the money to the respective contributors.

The five contributors that apparently violated the Act included the YMCA, a numbered Quebec-owned company, the estate of Nick Schwartz, Gresko Milligan, and the Hamilton Bulldogs. Village Green Denture Clinic had a reporting contravention of the Act, and in-kind contributions by Fercan Investments and Italo Ferrari, each for $750, "raised further questions" for Froese. Froese stated the audit did not reveal any contraventions to Di Ianni's expenses.

The auditor said that a number of contributors identified by Chapman should be "addressed through an extension of the compliance audit."

The audit, says Gillespie, has only helped his client's case against the corporations who exceeded their campaign donation limit to Di Ianni. "It confirms the majority of the allegations," he said."It also includes five contraventions by companies that are still under investigation."

Chapman laid private charges against 18 companies in relation to over-contributions to Di Ianni's 2003 municipal campaign. Di Ianni returned about $20,000, once he discovered the accounting errors.

Of the 18 companies charged, the majority of them are in Hamilton. They include DeSantis Real Estate Ltd., Fifty Road Joint Ventures Inc., Losani Homes Ltd., Starward Homes Management Ltd., Doral Property Management, Homelife Effect Realty Inc. and Sahar's Hospitality Inc. The 17 corporations alleged to have contravened the Act overcontributed between $50 to $1,250. Penalties under the Act allow for a fine of up to $25,000 for corporations.

Gillespie said his client was planning to wait and see what city council would do at last week's scheduled meeting.

Under the Municipal Elections Act, council has 30 days to determine what to do with the report, including whether any legal action should be taken. Penalties under the Act allow for a fine of up to $5,000 for violators. The act also includes the removal of the politician from office.

Politicians in their July, 2004 meeting rejected a plea from Chapman to conduct a compliance audit. She subsequently took the matter to court where Justice Culver ordered council to pay for the $25,000-audit.

The audit also included a review of council candidate John Best and former councillor Marvin Caplan.

Best said the audit confirmed what he had known all along. His transgression involved one contribution that exceeded the $750 limit. He cleared it up once he knew about it. But there are more questions surrounding Caplan's campaign finances. The report on his documents has been delayed for about two weeks for more financial information.

Chapman awaits decision on audit

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

Dundas resident Joanna Chapman has reserved her right to appeal mayor Larry Di Ianni's apparent election finance contraventions to court if councillors do nothing about it, says her lawyer.

"If no approval is given by council (to investigate it further), she has the option to take it to court, as she did before," said Eric Gillespie.

The long-awaited compliance audit, ordered by Justice Timothy Culver in August, was released to councillors this week and revealed that Di Ianni had five "apparent contraventions" of the Municipal Elections Act, and one apparent reporting contravention.

Ken Froese, director of LECG Canada, who conducted the audit on Di Ianni's campaign finances, also identified 16 potential contraventions by contributors, but said they were "appropriately addressed by the candidate."

Chapman laid private charges against 18 companies for violating the Municipal Elections Act. A pre-trial hearing has been scheduled for Dec. 21 at 9 a.m.

Froese stated in his report that Di Ianni, has been "fully cooperative and forthcoming" during the investigation. Di Ianni acknowledged that "controls" should have been in place to better manage the donations to his campaign.

The audit found that 24 corporations or groups exceeded the $750 limit, for a total excess contribution of nearly $11,000, and two individuals exceeded the $750 limit for a total of $500. Froese noted that Di Ianni refunded the money to the respective contributors.

The five contributors that apparently violated the Act included the YMCA, a numbered Quebec-owned company, the estate of Nick Schwartz, Gresko Milligan, and the Hamilton Bulldogs. Village Green Denture Clinic had a reporting contravention of the Act, and in-kind contributions by Fercan Investments and Italo Ferrari, each for $750, "raised further questions" for Froese. Froese stated the audit did not reveal any contraventions to Di Ianni's expenses.

The auditor said that a number of contributors identified by Chapman should be "addressed through an extension of the compliance audit."

The audit, says Gillespie, has only helped his client's case against the corporations who exceeded their campaign donation limit to Di Ianni. "It confirms the majority of the allegations," he said."It also includes five contraventions by companies that are still under investigation."

Chapman laid private charges against 18 companies in relation to over-contributions to Di Ianni's 2003 municipal campaign. Di Ianni returned about $20,000, once he discovered the accounting errors.

Of the 18 companies charged, the majority of them are in Hamilton. They include DeSantis Real Estate Ltd., Fifty Road Joint Ventures Inc., Losani Homes Ltd., Starward Homes Management Ltd., Doral Property Management, Homelife Effect Realty Inc. and Sahar's Hospitality Inc. The 17 corporations alleged to have contravened the Act overcontributed between $50 to $1,250. Penalties under the Act allow for a fine of up to $25,000 for corporations.

Gillespie said his client was planning to wait and see what city council would do at last week's scheduled meeting.

Under the Municipal Elections Act, council has 30 days to determine what to do with the report, including whether any legal action should be taken. Penalties under the Act allow for a fine of up to $5,000 for violators. The act also includes the removal of the politician from office.

Politicians in their July, 2004 meeting rejected a plea from Chapman to conduct a compliance audit. She subsequently took the matter to court where Justice Culver ordered council to pay for the $25,000-audit.

The audit also included a review of council candidate John Best and former councillor Marvin Caplan.

Best said the audit confirmed what he had known all along. His transgression involved one contribution that exceeded the $750 limit. He cleared it up once he knew about it. But there are more questions surrounding Caplan's campaign finances. The report on his documents has been delayed for about two weeks for more financial information.