Rob Ford 'unnecessarily reckless' in knocking down councillor

Rob Ford should be found in contravention of city council’s code of conduct for running into Coun. Pam McConnell during a raucous debate nearly two years ago, Toronto’s integrity commissioner says.

Then-mayor Ford violated code of conduct by bowling over Coun. McConnell in 2013 incident

Integrity Commissioner Valerie Jepson says then-mayor Rob Ford was "unnecessarily reckless" when he ran through the council chamber and into a fellow councillor nearly two years ago. (Chris Young/Canadian Press)

Rob Ford should be found in contravention of city council's code of conduct for running into Coun. Pam McConnell during a raucous debate nearly two years ago, Toronto's integrity commissioner says.

In a report issued earlier this week, Integrity Commissioner Valerie Jepson says that Ford "was acting in a manner that was unnecessarily reckless, lacking in decorum, and contrary to the Code of Conduct for Members of Council."

Ford violated two articles of the code, Jepson says: one governing conduct at council and committee meetings, and one that covers discreditable conduct.

Ford's decision to run through the council chamber that day was "reckless and it was unbecoming of the position he held at the time," Jepson writes, adding that Ford agreed with that assessment when she met with him about the incident.

The report notes that Ford apologized to McConnell, and offered to make a donation to a charity or cause of McConnell's choice "to further express regret for his actions."

The report further recommends that council allow the integrity commissioner's office to send the money to the city, to then be disbursed "in the manner proposed by Councillor McConnell."

Jepson recommends that "no further action" be taken over the incident.

Council will consider the report's recommendations on Sept. 30.

Coun. McConnell injured hip, shoulder

The incident occurred on Nov. 18, 2013, when city council was debating whether to strip then-mayor Ford of his powers after he publicly admitted to smoking crack cocaine. During that meeting, Ford and his brother, then-councillor Doug Ford, argued with spectators in the public gallery.

At one point when Rob Ford was separated from his brother, he believed him to be in trouble and ran in his direction. Ford ran directly into McConnell, knocking her to the ground. McConnell developed a bruise on her face and "suffered hip and shoulder injuries" that required treatment, the report says.

"The events have been captured by video," Jepson writes. "The incident became notorious on an international scale.

"This fact is relevant because Councillor McConnell has unwillingly become indelibly connected to the incident and its notoriety."

While the incident was an accident, the report goes on, "there was nothing accidental about Councillor Ford's decision to run through the Chamber."

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