Fords broke code of conduct: Integrity commissioner

The Ford brothers, Rob and Doug, on the air at 1010 Radio in Toronto on Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012....

The Ford brothers, Rob and Doug, on the air at 1010 Radio in Toronto on Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012. (Dave Thomas/QMI Agency)

Don Peat, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:16 PM ET

TORONTO — This probably wasn't the two-year election anniversary gift Mayor Rob Ford wanted.

The city's integrity commissioner ruled Thursday that Ford and his brother, Coun. Doug Ford, broke council's code of conduct during their Newstalk 1010 radio show earlier this year when they made on-air comments about Dr. David McKeown, the city's chief medical officer of health.

Coun. John Filion, the board of health chairman, launched the complaint earlier this year when the Fords weighed in on McKeown's recommendation to lower Toronto's speed limits for the safety of pedestrians and cyclists.

At the time, Doug Ford asked on air, "Why does he still have a job?" while Rob Ford called McKeown's $294,302 salary "just an embarrassment."

"As the mayor, I'll look into that and try to straighten things out," the mayor added.

Integrity commissioner Janet Leiper ruled the mayor breached council's code of conduct during the discussion.

During her investigation, Leiper noted, the mayor said he didn't attempt to "unduly influence or threaten" McKeown but was speaking publicly "on behalf of taxpayers."

"The mayor wrote that his comments were truthful and were not malicious. In his reply, the mayor questioned the motivation of the complainant for bringing forward this formal complaint," she wrote.

Leiper said the mayor is in a "prime position to model respect for staff."

"In this case, the mayor's remarks arose from an incomplete understanding of the role and mandate of the (medical officer of health)," Leiper wrote.

Leiper said on the day her report was due to be filed she received a letter of retraction from the mayor.

In response to the complaint about Doug Ford, Leiper said he didn't apologize for his comments and she recommends council reprimand him next week.


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