Oshawa mayoralty candidate accused of spending $108,000 over the limit in 2022 campaign
Published July 12, 2023 at 3:55 pm
A publisher and perennial mayoralty candidate in Oshawa will be at City Hall Thursday morning answering to claims he spent more than $100,000 above the allowed candidate limit during last year’s campaign.
Joe Ingino, owner of the weekly Oshawa Central newspaper and a candidate for Mayor in 2022 and several other municipal elections prior to last year as well, will appear before the Joint Compliance Audit Committee to answer charges he spent $219,687 on his campaign last year, based on advertising rates for his own newspaper.
The mayoral race spending cap for Oshawa in 2022 was $111,153.25.
The appliance audit was signed by Ward 4 City Councillor Derek Giberson and five other Oshawa residents and business people: Mary Fowler, Domenic Albis, Teresa Goff, Darlene Forbes and Roger Bouma, who noted in their application that Ingino reported on the advertising line of his campaign expense section only $3,000 in expenses.
“This suggests either an unfathomable error in financial reporting or the falsifying of an election campaign filing,” the co-signers said.
Giberson, who filed the application on behalf of the other five signees, said the Elections Act requires that Ingino’s campaign finances should be filed with an auditor’s report, which the candidate failed to provide.
He also claimed Ingino began running ads prior to his registration as a candidate on June 3, also a violation of the Act as “no expenses may be incurred or contributions received prior to registering as a candidate.” Signage placed in storefronts for at least four years prior to the 2022 election – ‘The Ingino Initiative’ – also appear to contravene the Act, Giberson said.
The Compliance Audit Committee met on May 24 and June 8 regarding contributions to Ingino’s 2022 campaign by two separate individuals, Rosaldo Russo and Donald Jessome, that were above the personal limit of $1,200 per candidate. Each individual was shown on Mr. Ingino’s original filing as having donated $1,356, which triggered an automatic review.
Ingino attended both meetings and provided a revised financial statement to the committee that showed $356 of each contribution has been reallocated to new donors whose names were not on the original filing.
Ingino called the accusations “erroneous and politically motivate it (sic)” and “way off the mark of any reality.”
Ingino said he could understand Giberson’s “erroneous assumption” as the councillor has “no real experience in business nor the publishing industry.” He also called some of the ads cited by Giberson and his co-signers “features, notices, articles and news” and said the accusations were “outrageous” and “misrepresenting” the truth.
“Everything is lumped together with disregard to reality,” he claimed. “This application is erroneous.”
Ingino, who finished third in the Mayor’s race in the past two elections, totalling 2,956 votes in 2022, also noted that Giberson is “a known political adversary” and claimed the other co-applicants are also “political adversaries of the candidate Joe Ingino.”
“This is nothing short of a public attack by the applicant,” Ingino claimed, who also placed the blame for the deterioration of Oshawa’s downtown on Giberson’s shoulders, calling the application “frivolous and submitted with malice intent.”
“The application before you is nothing but a pathetically prepared attempt to discredit my good name and character in the community.”
The committee will also hear an application against Dave Thompson, who ran against Giberson in Ward 4 in 2022, coming in second in a close race where the top four candidates were all within 500 votes of each other.
Thompson claimed election expenses of $4,484, while Giberson claims his true expenses topped $12,000.
The committee will arrive at decisions in both cases within 30 days.
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