NOW magazine has filed a complaint with the Toronto integrity commissioner, claiming that Mayor Rob Ford's office infringed freedom of expression by trying to ban the weekly from all city-owned properties (see previous post). The action was taken after a clearly photoshopped cover picture that put Ford's head on a near-naked body, illustrating a story called The Naked Truth about Rob Ford. A story posted on the NOW website says, in part
The affidavit filed with the integrity commissioner names Ford as the subject of the complaint and asserts that any attempt by the mayor's office to remove copies of NOW from city property amounts to a violation of the Code of Conduct for Members of City Council.
In particular, section VIII, which states “No member of Council shall use the influence of her or his office for any purpose other than for the exercise of her or his official duties.” The affidavit also cites section XIV of the Code, which reads “All members of Council have a duty to treat members of the public … appropriately and without abuse, bullying or intimidation.”The story says if the integrity commissioner found Ford had violated the Code of Conduct, he could face a reprimand from Council [unlikely, given that he and his supporters predominate] or the suspension of his pay for up to 90 days. A formal apology could also be ordered.
A story on CTV.ca quoted editor Alice Klein saying that NOW has solid evidence that "someone in the Mayor's office felt empowered to order the removal and disposal of all our newspapers from all city buildings and facilities including all libraries." This apparently refers to the e-mail memo from Lorraine Pickett, a custodial service supervisor at city hall, sent out an email suggesting the Mayor's office demanded the magazine be removed from city buildings.