TORONTO — The mayor of Canada’s largest city was ordered out of office Monday after a judge found he had flouted conflict-of-interest rules for refusing to repay funds he solicited for his high school football team using city letterhead when he was a councilor.
Mayor Rob Ford blamed ‘‘the left wing politics’’ for the ruling and said he would appeal. The development is the latest in a string of embarrassments for the colorful mayor who has repeatedly found himself in the news since he was elected in 2010.
Ontario Superior Court Justice Charles Hackland said Ford showed ‘‘willful blindness’’ to the law and said he cannot claim that it was an error in judgment made in good faith.
At issue was Ford’s participation in a city council vote on repaying money he had solicited for a high school football program for which he is a volunteer coach. The judge said Ford showed a dismissive attitude toward the city’s integrity commissioner.
The judge’s ruling takes effect in two weeks, but Ford can seek an order that will allow him to stay in office while he appeals.
The judge said Ford had his staff send out letters using the city of Toronto logo and his status as city councilman to solicit funds for his football foundation. Donors included lobbyists and a corporation that does business with the city of Toronto.