Auditor Will Investigate Candidate’s Expenses

Former Windsor city council candidate Gabe Maggio July 20, 2015. (Photo by Adelle Loiselle)

The City of Windsor will hire an auditor to investigate the campaign expenses of former Ward 3 candidate Gabe Maggio.

The city’s compliance audit committee had the option of dismissing a complaint filed against Maggio, who ran unsuccessfully in the 2014 municipal election, but decided there are enough grounds to warrant an investigation.

A complaint filed on June 25 by Paul Synnott alleges Maggio’s campaign failed to list two in-kind donations and accepted a $500 donation from a Michigan resident in violation of the Municipal Elections Act. The Act states only donations from Ontario residents, corporations and trade unions are acceptable. The in-kind donations were a tent at the 2014 Bluesfest and the use of Maggio’s work office.

Maggio acknowledges the donation from Emmanuel Shaleta of Shelby Township, Michigan was a mistake, “we just didn’t know.”

He believes the other two allegations are unwarranted saying there was no monetary value attached to the tent at Bluesfest, and there’s no difference between using his work office or his home as a campaign headquarters.

Manager of elections and records, Chuck Scarpelli, admits he isn’t sure how long it will take to hire an auditor or how much it may cost the city. “Given the fact this is the first time the city’s ever done this; we’ve never had a compliance audit before, it’s very hard to say.”

The auditor will report back to the committee. If the auditor finds any wrongdoing, the committee can then launch legal proceedings against Maggio. Only a judge can impose a penalty, possibly barring Maggio from running in the next municipal election in 2018.