Mayor Rob Ford admits his office helped a U.S. company meet with city staff in a bid to explore potential savings opportunities, though he says there was no attempt to influence the outcome of those talks.
The Globe and Mail published a report earlier this summer saying that Ford and his brother, Coun. Doug Ford, helped RR Donnelley and Sons meet with city staff in 2011.
In a follow-up report on Monday, the newspaper reported that Deco Labels and Tags, the company run by the Ford family, had done subcontracting work for RR Donnelley and Sons in recent years.
After the Globe and Mail report was published, Ford issued a statement about the meeting involving RR Donnelley — saying that the Chicago-based company had approached his office during an ongoing core service review.
"Their representatives claimed they could save the City of Toronto millions of dollars in printing costs. We helped organize a meeting with the appropriate City Staff to explore their claim," Ford said in the statement.
"At no time did I, or anyone in my office attempt to influence the decisions of City staff during or after the meeting with RR Donnelley," the statement said.
Ford was also asked about the report when speaking with reporters on Monday.
"There's one person that has never taken a dime, a dime of taxpayers’ money — it's Rob Ford," he said.
Asked several times if RR Donnelley was a client of Deco Labels and Tags, Ford said he wasn't clear.
"I'm not part of the business, I'm only a principal owner," Ford said. "I can't recall if they are one of our customers or not."
Warning the media "to be careful about what you guys say," Ford indicated legal action was a possibility.
The mayor's brother, Coun. Doug Ford, also spoke to the media after the report was published on Monday.
"We are going to commence legal action against the Globe and Mail this week, against former employees of Deco Labels," he said.
Mayor Ford is in the midst of running for re-election. Dozens of other candidates are vying for his job.
The Oct. 27 election is now less than three months away.