July 28, 2014 3:25 pm

Doug Ford threatens legal action over story about alleged lobbying

Mayor Rob Ford arrives for an announcement of a renewed Federal Gas Tax fund at a TTC transit yard in Toronto on Friday, July 11, 2014.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

TORONTO – Doug Ford said he’ll sue the Globe and Mail and former Deco Labels employees who spoke to the newspaper in the wake of a report alleging the Fords lobbied the city on behalf of a business client.

Councillor Ford accused the newspaper of alleging his label-printing company of “doing something that has not been done.”

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“They are in possession, unlawfully, I repeat unlawfully, of confidential proprietary information from Deco,” Ford told reporters at city hall, apparently referring to a client list the Globe said it had consulted.

“We’re going to commence legal action against the Globe and Mail this week, against former employees of Deco Labels, for stealing information, confidential information off Deco’s database and we’re going to commence legal action this week.

“They have zero credibility, in my opinion.”

The councillor said the article is an example of the “establishment” coming after him and his family.

The newspaper alleged the Ford brothers helped RR Donnelley and Sons – a printing company which Doug said Monday that Deco competes with – seek a city contract.

The newspaper alleged Monday RR Donnelley and Sons was a client of the Ford family business as well – subcontracting to Deco for baggage tags, among other things.

Doug Ford said on Monday that’s not true.

“If any company comes to Rob and I and says they can save millions of dollars for the city, we’re putting them in touch with the proper department,” Doug Ford said. “And that’s exactly what we did.”

Mayor Rob Ford, who is a principal in the family business, said he couldn’t remember whether RR Donnelley was a Deco client.

“You can’t make allegations and write stuff down and say that we’re doing what we’re not doing,” he said.

This is far from the first time the Fords have threatened to sue in the face of allegations they didn’t like: They threatened similar legal action against the Globe and Star following reports last spring that Rob Ford smoked crack and Doug Ford dealt hash in high school.

Rob Ford said he’d sue his former staffers who were quoted in court documents as telling police they were worried about the mayor’s alcoholism and drunk driving and that he’d routinely make a staffer buy Iceberg Vodka for him during work hours.

None of the statements in those documents have been tested in court.

The city’s Integrity Commissioner Janer Leiper is looking into a potential code of conduct violation by the mayor following a similar report earlier in July.

Mayoral candidate John Tory has asked the city’s integrity commissioner to report on the status of her investigation before the October election..

I have no idea what the integrity commissioner’s schedule is like but it’s a serious enough allegation that I think it should be addressed, one way or another,” before the mayoral election Oct. 27, Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly told reporters at city hall Monday.

“Tt’s not an unreasonable request and, going forward, it has the potential of exonerating the mayor as well as being very critical of him,” Kelly said.

The integrity commissioner halted her investigation when the mayor entered rehab in May.

Earlier this month, Integrity Comissioner Janet Leiper found Mayor Ford violated the city’s code of conduct when he robocalled residents in Councillor Paul Ainslie’s riding after Ainslie voted against trashing an existing plan for light rail in Scarborough in favour of a subway.

Ford eventually apologized. 

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