Friday, May 06, 2011

Integrity commissioner throws out complaint from NOW magazine against Toronto mayor

Toronto's integrity commissioner has rejected a complaint from NOW magazine about Mayor Rob Ford's office ordering copies of the magazine to be purged from all city offices. The cover story in the issue was illustrated by a photoshopped image depicting the near-naked mayor. According to a story on the QMI wire, Janet Leiper the commissioner, sent a letter to NOW April 27 saying there were "insufficient grounds" to conduct an investigation.
The integrity czar said the material supplied as part of the complaint fell short of "reasonable and probable grounds" to conclude the mayor, through his staff, broke the code of conduct.
"There is no suggestion in any of the material that the mayor authorized" the e-mail order to city staff to remove the newspaper "or was aware of it at the time that it took place," Leiper concluded.
"Although one might speculate as to alternative scenarios, there must be sufficient grounds to conduct an investigation," Leiper writes. "Speculation is not sufficient."
Had Mayor Ford been found to have violated the Code of Conduct, he could have faced a reprimand from Council, the suspension of his pay for 90 days and/or be ordered to issue a formal apology. NOW editor Alice Klein was quoted saying 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, who sent out an email suggesting the Mayor's office demanded the magazine be removed from city buildings.
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