Frugal councillor to have expenses investigated
A Toronto city councillor is coming under scrutiny for his annual expenses. The concern is not how much Rob Ford spent, but how much he didn't.
Ford takes pride at the end of each year that he is the lowest spender on city council. Last year his total office expenses came in at zero, despite the fact that his allowance was $53,000.
The frugal expense sheet caught the suspicious eye of Mayor David Miller's powerful new executive committee. That group wants the integrity commissioner to investigate the lack of expenses claimed by Ford and fellow councillor Doug Holyday.
"They must sit up at night and think how they're going to attack me," was Ford's reaction to the proposed investigation.
Ford says he uses his own money to pay for flyers and mail-outs, using his family's printing business. And that is the crux of the issue for the executive committee.
"You're not supposed to accept gifts, even from yourself," Giorgio Mammoliti said.
Councillor Howard Moscoe said he and other committee members have "been pummelled" by Ford and Holyday but their "words ring hollow when you look at the facts."
For instance, the executive committee claims both men have been using office space at the Etobicoke Civic Centre without paying for it.
Ford says the space in question is a board room where he holds meetings, not a constituency office as the executive committee claims.
The executive committee has advised the city clerk's office to withdraw $1,123 out of both councillors' global office budgets to pay for the use of the office space.
Ford says he is being targeted because he tries to point out the waste of taxpayer's money occurring at city hall.
All of city council will have to approve the request for an investigation before the integrity commission can begin a probe. That vote is slated to take place next month.
Expenses claimed last year by the four main councillors involved in this issue were:
- Rob Ford -- $0;
- Doug Holyday -- $1,471;
- Howard Moscoe -- $10,636; and
- Giorgio Mammoliti -- $49,795
With a report from CTV's Desmond Brown