The cold war between Rob Ford, Toronto's mayor, and The Toronto Star, the highest circulation newspaper in Canada, reached a new level last week after a complaint from Mr. Ford led to a police investigation of one of The Star's City Hall reporters.
Toronto city councillors are calling on Mayor Rob Ford and Councillor Doug Ford to recuse themselves from police budget discussions following escalating attacks on Chief Bill Blair, whom the mayor accused on Monday of having a political vendetta against him.
In an interview with Conrad Black, Mayor Ford drew a link between a police investigation of him, and past attempts by city hall to curb spending on policing — an assertion the deputy mayor called “dead wrong.”
Chief Bill Blair is flatly denying any suggestion that a police probe into Mayor Rob Ford’s dealings is payback for past budget cuts.
“Of course not,” the chief told reporters at city hall on Wednesday.
He said the investigation, dubbed Project Brazen 2, is ongoing.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, who built his political reputation on respecting the taxpayer, had his city-funded driver drop him at a crack rendezvous last spring, newly unsealed police documents claim.
The files, which contain allegations not proven in court, were opened to the public Wednesday by an Ontario Superior Court judge. They reveal new details about the police investigation into Mr. Ford’s conduct, dubbed Brazen II, and the night he was caught on tape, for a second time, smoking crack.
Two senior staffers have quit Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s office as the crisis at City Hall appears to show no sign of abating.
Press Secretary George Christopoulos and deputy press secretary Isaac Ransom left “on principle,” the CBC reports. Security were spotted in the mayor’s office in the early afternoon.
The resignations come days after Ford fired his chief of staff Mark Towhey without disclosing the reason. Sources have said Towhey was fired after telling the mayor to seek rehab.
With all of Toronto waiting for Mayor Rob Ford to address last week’s explosive allegations of crack-cocaine use, the mayor instead attempted to change the channel by declaring he would no longer be supporting a downtown casino.
Ford spoke at length on the floor of council Tuesday, not about the allegations but about his opposition to a downtown casino.
An emotional Rob Ford said is staying on as mayor, despite his bombshell admissions earlier Tuesday that he smoked crack cocaine during a “drunken stupor” and that the infamous video that he long denied existing is “ugly.”
“I embarrassed everyone in this city and will be forever sorry,” Ford said in near tears Tuesday afternoon. “I can’t explain how difficult it was [to make this admission.]
Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly says it’s “not unreasonable” to call on integrity commissioner Janet Leiper to complete an investigation into allegations of misconduct by Mayor Rob Ford and Councillor Doug Ford in time for the October election.
“It’s a serious enough allegation that I think it should be addressed,” Mr. Kelly told reporters at city hall on Monday.
“It’s not an unreasonable request. Going forward it has the potential of exonerating the mayor as well as being very critical of him.”
Newly released security footage from Toronto City Hall provides a rare, behind-the-scenes glimpse at two of Mayor Rob Ford’s last known evening excursions before going into rehab.
The set of surveillance clips — released by the City of Toronto on Friday as per a freedom of information request filed by the National Post and other media outlets — show the mayor roaming city hall on the St. Patrick’s Day weekend as well as on April 5.