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Giorgio Mammoliti Swimming in Debt

Toronto Councillor's Financial Scandals Keep Adding Up

by Toronto Media Co-op

PHOTO Andrew Louis
PHOTO Andrew Louis

Scandal seems to be following Gorgio Mammoliti everywhere these days. 

Three days ago, it was revealed that Mammoliti was being investigated by police because of a fundraiser last May where he accepted a $80,000 gift and, according to the City Integrity Commissioner, used 2 City-paid staff to organize the fundraiser of a course of weeks.

But the Toronto City Councillor for Ward 7 has already had a tulmutous term, bouncing back and forth as a Ford ally, having major surgery, videotaping Toronto's Dyke March and suffering a series of financial scandals in 2014 related to fundraising and campaigns.  

Documents recently obtained by the Toronto Media Co-op show that Mammoliti's financial life might be equally as tulmutuous: he is deep in debt and losing money annually.

A statement of finances from an October 2012 court filing shows that Mammoliti's financial position has deteriorated significantly since 2005.  Back then, Mammoliti had low debt and many assets, including surprisingly, $105,000 in cash in a safety deposit box. 

As of May 2012, his financial position was far, far worse. His annual income of $106,000 was being offset by annual expenses of $174,000.  Meanwhile, Mammoliti owed over $1.2 Million in debt.   He took on loans from various sources including family members, but much of this debt was related to several properties that Mammoliti owned, all of which appeared to be mortgaged more than the properties were actually worth. 

Mammoliti was also a shareholder in several companies, one of which the Toronto Media Co-op has confirmed owned rental properties where Mammoliti was the landlord. The value of these companies or their assets was not included in the court filings.

Mammoliti's property dealings were subject of intense scrutiny in 2013 when it was revealed by the CBC that the companies which own the properties received $275,000 in loans from real estate developers. The loans happened after Mammoliti had moved motions to allow billboards on their properties.  Mammoliti is listed as a 50% shareholder of the companies.

Mammoliti's financial difficulties might shed light on a number of the councillor's recent scandals involving money.

He was ordered to pay back the City of Toronto $53,000 for legal costs of a compliance audit from the 2006 election, though he later was able to negotiate a smaller settlement.  

After the 2006 election, Vote Toronto, a non-partisan community organization, argued that Mammoliti spent 447% (the most of any councillor) of his election limit by incurring costs for  fundraisers and parties not included in the limits.  According to their 2009 report, Funding City Politics, "Mammoliti reported fundraising function costs of $77,800 and reported ticket revenue at two events as $65,450".

Mammoliti was in hot water the election after in 2010 as well, when a city-commissioned compliance audit last year found that Mammoliti spent thousands of dollars more than was legally allowed.  The audit committee referred the matter for prosecution.

In late 2013, Mammoliti and councillor David Shiner were found to have been receiving below-market-value rental apartments from Greenwin-Verdiroc group at 88 Erskine Ave.  Greenwin-Verdiroc group manages several Toronto Community Housing buildings, including 4 in Mammoliti's ward.

Greenwin-Verdiroc group were also involved tangentially in Mammolitis most recent and explosive scandal.  A senior executive was found to be at the fundraiser in 2013 that has recently had Mammoliti being investigated by the police.

Two hundred guests attended the fundraiser which saw event organizers give a $80,000 gift to Mammoliti.  The integrity commissioner argued this violated the City's code of conduct and Council docked Mammoliti's pay by 3 months.  The matter has been refered to the Toronto Police Financial Crimes unit while Mammoliti has vowed to to sue council and the integrity commissioner.

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