Ford blasted for 'reckless' corruption claim
The current mayor of Toronto and candidates for the office are blasting allegations by Coun. Rob Ford about corruption at city hall.
"Without any evidence, without any proof, he made these incredible allegations," candidate Rocco Rossi told reporters Thursday.
"It is recklessness of the highest order to make accusations of this sort. If he has evidence, then no in-camera meeting rules can prevent him from going to the police and providing that evidence," he said.
Candidate George Smitherman said on Twitter, the social messaging service, that "if Ford has details of corruption, he has an obligation to report to police. Drive-by smears are not a substitute for leadership. "
In a Toronto Sun article published Thursday, Ford, who represents Ward 2 (Etobicoke North), was quoted as telling the newspaper's editorial board: "If Tuggs isn’t (a corrupt deal), then I don’t know what is."
He was referring to an in-camera meeting that awarded an untendered, 20-year contract to Tuggs Inc., which operates the Boardwalk Pub near Ashbridge's Bay. It has been a long-time operator of the establishment.
“I can’t accuse anyone or I can’t pinpoint it, but why do we have to go in-camera on the Tuggs deal?" Ford said.
“These in-camera meetings, there’s more corruption and skullduggery going on in there than I’ve ever seen in my life.”
Ford said if he became mayor on Oct. 25, he might try to undo the Tuggs contract.
In a news release Thursday, Ford didn't back off his corruption allegation.
"I think it was corruption, Mayor Miller doesn't, so let's make all the information public and let the taxpayers decide for themselves," he said.
"Mayor Miller is asking me to come forward with information that would mean breaking the law. Obviously I can't do that, so let's make all of Council's ‘purple sheets’ white so the public can see exactly what happens at these secret meetings and exactly where their tax dollars are going."
In an interview with the John Tory show on Newstalk 1010 Radio, Miller said if Ford had evidence of corruption, he should show it to the city's integrity commissioner.
But, "as he's admitted himself, he doesn't have any evidence," Miller said.
Reasonable people can disagree about whether a lease should be extended for someone who had made a major investment in upgrading a business versus opening up the process up to tender, the mayor said.
But Ford's words attack the integrity of an entire institution and demean all politicians, he said.
While Ford attacks in-camera meetings, under provincial law, certain types of contracts have to be discussed in-camera, Miller said.