TORONTO – An audit committee at City Hall has ruled that the case against Mayor Rob Ford for overspending during the 2010 municipal election campaign will not be sent to a special prosecutor.

A forensic audit of Ford’s campaign finances found he exceeded the authorized spending limit of $1.3-million by $40,000.

Ford’s lawyer argued the mayor ran an above-board campaign, always checking to
make sure he followed the rules.

After almost two hours, the three-person committee voted 2-1 not to prosecute Ford, leaving the mayor smiling.

“Thank you so much for your support during the campaign and every day since,” Ford said.

Ford called his brother Councillor Doug Ford his “best friend,” thanking him for all his support.

“It’s been a heavy, heavy burden on you. In addition to everything else on your plate, you’ve never let me down and I’ll always, always be grateful for that.”

The mayor also thanked the compliance audit committee for taking their job seriously.

If the committee had decided to send the case to a special prosecutor, Ford could have been removed from office, or alternatively, he could have faced a fine.

In other Ford news, the legal team that launched the conflict-of-interest suit against Mayor Ford will be filing a response Monday to Ford’s demands that Paul Magder pay his court costs.

Ford wants Magder, the citizen who launched the legal action, to pick up the $116,000-tab.