Michael Di Biase

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This article is about a Canadian politician. For information about the wrestler, see Michael Dibiase.
Michael Di Biase
Mayor of Vaughan, Ontario
In office
Preceded by Lorna Jackson
Succeeded by Linda Jackson

Michael Di Biase is a Regional Councillor in (and the former mayor of) Vaughan, Ontario, an exurb of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He was first elected to the city's council in 1986.[1] Following the death of Mayor Lorna Jackson in 2002, Di Biase was appointed acting mayor by virtue of his position as senior regional councilor (a position he had held since 1988). In the 2003 municipal election, Di Biase won his first official term as mayor.

The Globe and Mail newspaper reports that Di Biase received an annual salary of $164,074,[2] making him one of the highest-paid municipal politicians in the country.[3] The next highest paid mayor is Hazel McCallion of Mississauga at $158,704. The mayor of the largest city in Canada, David Miller of Toronto, receives $143,635 per year. The average salary of Vaughan councilors is $102,657 which is second to that of Mississauga at $113,296, while Toronto councilors earn $85,497.

In the 2006 municipal election, Di Biase faced Lorna Jackson's daughter Linda Jackson and lost by 90 votes in one of the closest races of the night. After a court-ordered recount completed on April 26, 2007, which had been initiated by Di Biase, it was confirmed that Jackson had indeed won the election.[4] Di Biase has stated he will accept the results.

In 2006, he was made a Knight Officer of the Order of Merit by the Government of Italy.[5]

In September 2009, an audit was conducted on former Mayor DiBiase's 2006 election campaign. 27 contraventions were revealed in the audit. The largest notable contravention was a $155,000 cash payment made to DiBiase's law firm to pay for legal expenses. DiBiase refused to name the anonymous donor(s), citing lawyer privilege, and was eventually cleared of wrongdoing.

He was elected Local and Regional Councillor for the City of Vaughan in October 2010. His term began December 1, 2010.

In July, 2011, an auditing committee voted to examine expenses relating to DiBiase's 2010 campaign. It is alleged that due to improper reporting and accounting procedures on DiBiase's part, he improperly kept $32,000 in campaign funds that should have been returned to the city.[6]

In April 2015 Vaughan city's integrity commissioner concluded that Di Biase directed "abusive language" and "intimidating actions" at city staff who resisted his efforts to get confidential information from them about the bidding process for two major construction contracts. Commissioner recommended Vaughan council vote to suspend Di Biase's salary for 90 days, the highest penalty allowed for a code of conduct infraction under the provincial Municipal Act. "I find that the respondent applied inappropriate pressure to staff with a view to exercising influence or assisting [Maystar General Contractors] with the business of the municipality," city's integrity commissioner wrote. [7]