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Toronto council candidate Gus Cusimano faces audit

A complaint from rival Anthony Fernando alleges billboards for Cusimano's insurance firm were really election signs.
July 15, 2015
By David Rider

Gus Cusimano, who pleaded guilty to voting illegally as a Toronto Ward 9 council candidate in 2010, now faces an audit of expenses from his 2014 bid to unseat Councillor Maria Augimeri.

The compliance audit committee voted 2-0 Wednesday to authorize the audit, based on a complaint from election rival Anthony Fernando, who argued Cusimano’s purchase of large billboards was a campaign expense and not, as Cusimano argued, simply advertising for his insurance firm.

When results of the audit come back, the committee can vote to do nothing or refer the matter for possible prosecution.

But the committee ruled that Fernando should face an audit of his own Ward 9 York Centre campaign expenses, after another citizen argued improprieties.

Fernando charged companies to have booths at his “Taste of Downsview” campaign fundraiser, but argued he did not break the city’s ban on corporate campaign donations because the payments were for a service.

In October 2013, Cusimano was fined $1,000 after admitting he illegally voted for himself in Ward 9 when he was a resident of Ward 24.

Cusimano said he believed he was eligible to vote in Ward 9 because he leased property - his campaign office - there.