Audit of Vaughan councillor's campaign expenses rejected
July 16, 2015
By Adam Martin-Robbins
A developer’s request for an audit of a Vaughan city councillor’s campaign finances has been rejected.
Three members of the Joint Compliance Audit Committee, on July 9, nixed Lucia Milani’s application for an in-depth examination of Maple/Kleinburg Councillor Marilyn Iafrate’s financial filings for the 2014 municipal election.
“I was extremely gratified by the decision,” Iafrate said in an interview this week. “I knew I hadn’t done anything wrong.”
Milani, of Rizmi Holdings Ltd., alleged Iafrate may have contravened the Municipal Elections Act by incurring Internet and phone expenses for her campaign and failing to report them.
Milani also alleged Iafrate may have used her taxpayer-funded office expense account for Internet services to support her re-election campaign.
Milani also raised questions about Iafrate’s failure to include any expenses or donations related to the annual Run for Vaughan event in her election finance filings.
Milani states that Iafrate directed members of the development community considering contributing to her campaign to donate instead to certain not-for-profit or charity organizations based in Ward 1 including Run for Vaughan, an event organized by the Ahmadiyya Muslim community to raise funds for the Vaughan hospital.
Milani notes that Iafrate, who identified herself as honorary chair of the event, spoke at the event Sept. 28 at Canada’s Wonderland, about a month before the election.
She alleged the Run For Vaughan registration form “advertised Iafrate for endorsement.”
“Without an audit, it is impossible to know how many would be (sic) donations/contributions went to Run for Vaughan ... that should have properly been accounted for as contributions to her campaign,” Milani states in her application. “Likewise without an audit, it is impossible to know what expenses relating to the event should have been properly accounted for as contributions to her campaign.”
The compliance audit application points to a potential over-contribution from seemingly related companies and the possibility one of the corporations listed as donating to Iafrate’s campaign may not exist, but Milani was not seeking the audit based on either of those issues, the application states.
Milani has yet to respond to a request for comment, but in an email her son, Cam, called the committee’s decision “disappointing”.
It’s not known, at this time, if Milani will appeal the committee’s decision.
“I have no problem, if they want to appeal it. I run a very tight campaign and I show everything,” Iafrate said. “Quite frankly, I was expecting this. ... This was no surprise ... I’m ready for it, if that’s what they choose to do.”