TORONTO — Councillor Rob Ford should be forced to give up three days’ pay — $900 — after he broke city rules by running fundraiser ads in his constituency newsletter, Toronto’s integrity commissioner has found.
Integrity Commissioner Valerie Jepson’s investigation found that three editions in April and May 2015 of Ford’s “Ward 2 Newsletter” included an advertisement for a mayoral campaign fundraiser for his brother Doug.
That runs afoul of municipal rules on using city resources for the purpose of an election campaign, and warrants a fine, the commissioner says.
Ford argued the electronic newsletter was made by his chief of staff on his own time, and thus outside city rules, but Jepson shot that down.
“A councillor cannot insulate himself or herself from the application of the City’s policies simply by using the councillor’s personal funds, or staff’s personal time,” her report reads.
Jepson’s probe also found that Ford personally reimbursed his aide for the newsletter time — another no-no under ethics rules.
Her report to council says Ford had previously been told not to use personal funds for council work without disclosing it, and that he should share how much he spent by the end of February or else lose an additional three days’ pay.
“A penalty that contains a component of deterrence is warranted because a prior clear warning has been insufficient to correct Councillor Ford’s behaviour,” Jepson’s report says.
Council will consider Jepson’s recommendations next week.
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