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Affidavit filed to the Integrity Commissioner over Rob Ford's use of city resources

Affidavit filed to the Integrity Commissioner over Rob Ford's use of city resources

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Published by The Globe and Mail

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Published by: The Globe and Mail on Sep 14, 2012
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I have personal knowledge of the facts as set out in this affidavit, because I was present onSeptember 5, 2012, at 361 University Avenue, Toronto, during the application hearing inOntario Superior Court, Court File No. CV-12-448487 (Paul Magder v. Robert Ford). I have alsoreferred to section VI of the
Code of Conduct For Members of Council City of Toronto 
. Finally,my personal knowledge of certain events attested to below comes from my own reading of themedia and Internet searches.
 
I have reasonable and probable grounds to believe that a member of Toronto City Council,Mayor Rob Ford, has contravened section(s) VI of the Code of Conduct for Members of Council(the "Code of Conduct"). The particulars are as follows: 
1.
This complaint arises from Mayor Ford’s use of City of Toronto resources for thepromotion and operation of the Rob Ford Football Foundation and football clubs led byMayor Ford. It is alleged that Mayor Ford contravened article VI of the
Code of Conduct 
.
 Contravention of Article VI — Use of City Property, Services and Other Resources
Use of Staff Resources for Football Foundation Fundraising
 2.
Mayor Ford has a history of abusing the
Code of Conduct’s 
Article VI Use of City Property,Services and Other Resources. This article states: 
 No member of Council should use, or permit the use of City land, facilities, equipment,supplies, services, staff or other resources (for example, City-owned materials, websites,Council transportation delivery services and member of Council expense budgets) for activities other than the business of the Corporation.
 3.
While the Integrity Commissioner has received, investigated and resolved multipleinformal complaints regarding council member Rob Ford and Article VI of the
Code of  Conduct 
, a May 4, 2010 complaint from a resident concerned about a fundraisingsolicitation made by (as he then was) Councillor Rob Ford was the IntegrityCommissioner’s first formal investigation. The Integrity Commissioner found that:
The City of Toronto logo was on the envelope and the letter.
The letter was printed on then-Councillor Ford’s letterhead and included awatermarked drawing of Etobicoke North, Ward 2, the area he represented.
On the back of the envelope there was an embossed gold seal with the City of Torontologo and, “Rob Ford Etobicoke North Councillor” stamped into the seal.
The letter was postmarked March 19, 2010. 
4.
The Integrity Commissioner’s investigation of the May 4, 2010 complaint concluded witha report submitted to Toronto City Council on August 12, 2010. The report determinedthat council member Rob Ford had contravened articles IV, VI and VIII of the
Code of  Conduct 
, and recommended that he be compelled to personally repay $3,150 indonations that had been made by registered lobbyists and businesses in a relationshipwith the City of Toronto. On August 25, 2010, City Council voted in favour of adoptingthis recommendation.
 
1 of 4
 
5.
On September 5, 2012, at 361 University Avenue, Toronto, in courtroom 6-1 during theapplication hearing in Ontario Superior Court, Court File No. CV-12-448487 (Paul Magderv. Robert Ford), I heard Mayor Rob Ford testify under oath that he stopped using Cityresources to assist his Football Foundation. According to the September 12, 2012article, “Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s office aides help run his football teams” by Kelly Grantand Elizabeth Church, published in the
Globe and Mail 
, Mayor Ford made the followingstatement in court that acknowledged his understanding that the use of City resources isnot permitted: 
“I did use my staff [for the football foundation] and I was wrong to do that ... that’s beenrectified numerous years ago.” 
 
This quote conforms with my memory of that portion of his testimony. I also recall that, inhis cross examination of Mayor Ford, lawyer Clayton Ruby read section VI of the
Code of  Conduct 
out loud, and specifically referred to the Integrity Commissioner’s finding thatthen-Councillor Ford had used City of Toronto staff for his foundation’s business.
 6.
On September 5, 2012, I witnessed Mayor Rob Ford being questioned under oath by hisown lawyer, Alan Lenczner. Mr. Lenczner asked if the mayor is still involved with thesolicitation of funds for his football foundation. The answer indicated that he spokeabout it with“pretty much anyone and everyone I meet ... even in Calgary and Edmontonthis summer." The mayor mentioned the he would “target everyone and anyone I meet”for a donation, and mentioned handing out his business cards.On cross examination, I heard Clayton Ruby, the lawyer representing Paul Magder,state, “You said earlier that you are always handing out cards. Do you have one withyou?” Mayor Rob Ford indicated he did, and handed one to Mr. Ruby, who I rememberthen asked, “You don't think it is a problem to hand out your city hall card to raisefunds for your foundation?” Without hesitation, Mayor Ford responded, “No, it does aphenomenal job.”Based on this exchange, it can be assumed that this business card hasthe City of Toronto’s logo and address on it, as well as the mayor’s title, email addressand office phone number.A copy of the
Toronto Sun 
’s September 5, 2012 article “Rob Ford shows he doesn't getthe conflict allegations” by Michele Mandel, generally supports my recollection of theabove exchanges.I also recall Mr. Ruby asking whether it was a good idea to use that card in light of thecriticism spelled out in the Integrity Commissioner’s 2010 report to council. Answer: “Iam not quite sure what other card I would use.” Mr. Ruby then referred back to thesection of the report under the heading “Article VI-Use of City Property, Services andOther Resources,” quoting from it. Soon after this, Mayor Ford contradicted his earlieranswer to Mr. Lenczner. Rather than generously handing out cards to all those whomight possibly donate to his foundation, he told Mr. Ruby that it was not a commonoccurrence for him to talk about his foundation in the first place, but only after clearinterest is indicated and long conversations have been had, nor was it often that hewould hand out his business card in association with the request to consider donating tothe foundation.In relation to this information, please note that the aforementioned August 12, 20102 of 4
 
report to council stated: “The former Integrity Commissioner reported on the private useof the City logo by Councillor Ford on December 11, 12 and 13, 2007. Council adoptedthe finding that using the City logo for purposes other than City business was a violationof Article VI of the
Code of Conduct 
 
.”
 7.
On April 3, 2012, Mayor Ford organized a publicity event to announce his FootballFoundation’s $5,000 donation to Blessed Mother Theresa Catholic High School. This waslater announced using the mayor’s Twitter account (user name Mayor Rob Ford, Twitteraddress @TOMayorFord). The [
] tweet [...] has an embedded link to a SNAPScarborough feature including many photos of the event.On June 28, 2012 Mayor Ford testified in his lawyer’s office regarding Court File No.CV-12-448487 (Paul Magder v. Robert Ford) that his receptionist, Tom Beyer, a City of Toronto employee, operated this Twitter account. This fact was again repeated in courtlast week in my presence. Photos of this event were published by local media. A websearch indicates the news was also featured in at least one 2012 school board e-bulletin,which goes on to say:
 “In 2008 Mayor Rob Ford created a Football Foundation to help fund football programs athigh school across Toronto. Mayor Rob Ford came to Scarborough and donated $5,000 to Blessed Mother's Teresa's Football Progam [sic].” 
 — Scarborough Events – May 2012, Toronto Catholic District School Board eBulletin, May14, 2012 
Several of the images found include an over-sized promotional cheque for displaypurposes. The cheque reads, “Rob Ford Football Foundation, DATE April 3 2012, PAYBLESSED MOTHER TERESA, $5,000.00 - FIVE THOUSAND - DOLLARS, PER MAYOR ROBFORD”. [O]ne such picture [was] featured on TorontoSUN.com.It is possible that Mayor Ford’s press secretary was involved in organizing this photoopportunity. 
8.
On July 18, 2012, Mayor Ford held a fundraiser for his Football Foundation at the CherryStreet Restaurant in the Port Lands. [There was a] LinkedIn invitation to this event. Avideo was taken at this event and posted on the Internet for a time. On the video, theevent’s organizer says: 
“I want to thank Isaac (Shirokoff) and Earl (Provost), your chief of staff; they weretremendous in helping me put this together. I run everything through ’em, they got back tome, and I couldn’t have done it without them.” 
 The
Toronto Star 
reported on this video, quoting Mayor Rob Ford: 
“I want to thank Isaac — Isaac’s been with me for a couple years now; he’s been helping me left, right and centre with these kids.” 
 
Not noted in the piece [September 12, 2012
Toronto Star 
article, “Mayor Rob Ford takesheat from taxpayers’ group for using city staff for football”]: near the end of his speech,the mayor also says, “I really don't listen to rules sometimes,” followed by a smatteringof laughter.3 of 4

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