Star reporter faces no charges in Rob Ford confrontation

The investigation into a clash between Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and a journalist came to a close Wednesday with police saying no charges would be laid in the incident.
Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale, seen above, will not be charged after a confrontation with Toronto Mayor Rob Ford last week outside the mayor's west-end home. (Patrick Morrell/CBC)

The investigation into a clash between Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and a journalist came to a close Wednesday with police saying no charges would be laid in the incident.

Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale said police found "no evidence" he was spying on the mayor or set foot on his property last week on the night of the confrontation.

Dale said he met with investigators Wednesday afternoon to go through his BlackBerry, which was held by police after he dropped it at the scene.

They found no photos or videos from that night, he said.

"I've repeatedly said, because it's true, I was never on the mayor's property — not only that, I've never looked over his fence," Dale said.

A spokesman for the mayor said Ford has no comment.

Ford confronted Dale on May 2, accusing him of peering over a fence at the mayor's west Toronto home. He admitted to angrily chasing Dale and said the reporter looked frightened.

Dale's version of events has the mayor charging him with a cocked fist.

The mayor and his brother Coun. Doug Ford later said they gave police incriminating video of the reporter but Dale said he was on public property, looking at parkland the mayor is trying to buy.

Dale said he wasn't allowed to view the footage but believes it cleared him of any wrongdoing.

The dispute sparked widespread debate over press freedom and privacy rights, with many residents and commentators picking sides.

Some political pundits and insiders suggested Ford's antics are jeopardizing Toronto's reputation.

The mayor painted the incident as the latest in a series of personal attacks by the Star, with whom he has clashed repeatedly over the years. He threatened last week not to speak to any media in Dale's presence.

Doug Ford told local media Wednesday he believes the blame lies with the newspaper for sending Dale out there in the first place.

Dale tweeted his rebuttal, saying it was his idea to visit the site because "it's necessary to be able to say exactly what that land looks like."