Ward 14 councilor-elect responds to allegations of illegal campaign tactics

Mike Spadafora – the elected councilor for Ward 14 – responds after the candidate he defeated by 79 votes plans to seek a recount and also accused Spadafora of using illegal campaign tactics.

Kojo Damptey, former chief executive of the Hamilton Center for Civic Inclusion and part-time lecturer at McMaster University, lost the open seat to Spadafora in the city’s tightest race.

Damptey told CBC Hamilton on Tuesday that due to the close result, « irregularities at the ballot box » and what he claims were illegal campaign tactics by Spadafora, he would seek a recount.

The allegations include the presence of signs in places where they did not belong and the fact that residents received robocalls falsely indicating that incumbent Mayor Fred Eisenberger endorsed Spadafora.

Spadafora did not comment on Damptey’s plans to request a recount, but responded to the allegations.

« To be clear, the campaign has responded to all requests from the City of Hamilton’s By-Law Office regarding the signs as well as all individual requests, » Spadafora wrote in an email.

A Spadafora team spokesperson said he was aware of two instances where there had been complaints about signs.

The first came after the Damptey team allegedly told Spadafora that they had placed a sign at the home of a Damptey supporter.

The spokesperson says there was also a Spadafora supporter in that house who requested the sign and wanted the sign to remain in place.

The other example, according to the spokesperson, was Spadafora’s sign crew placing a sign on the wrong side of the sidewalk in front of a business requesting a sign.

The spokesperson said settlement officials instructed the team to move the sign and it was done without incident.

The city’s by-laws department told CBC Hamilton on Monday it had received complaints but never issued charges.

Campaign supported by Thought Mayor of Spadafora

As for the robocall, Spadafora says it wasn’t done on purpose.

« The understanding of my campaign was that we had both the [support of the] outgoing mayor and outgoing councilor for Ward 14 for our campaign,” Spadafora wrote in an email.

He and his spokesperson did not elaborate further.

Kojo Damptey ran for councilor for Ward 14 and lost by 79 votes. (Screenshot/kojoforward14.ca)

Mayor Fred Eisenberger’s spokesperson, Alia Khan, said the office received a report Monday from a resident about a robocall that took place during the campaign.

« Mr. Spadafora contacted a third party to obtain an endorsement from the mayor, and a conversation took place, however, in the end, an endorsement from Mr. Spadafora was never provided, » she wrote.

None of the alleged violations would factor into Damptey’s request for a recount.

The Municipal Elections Act states that a recount can take place if there is a tie, if the municipal council passes a resolution to recount, or if someone applies to the Superior Court of Justice for a recount and the court orders the clerk to recount.


Back to top button