Toronto

Watchdog rules Doug Ford broke city council's code of conduct

The city of Toronto's integrity commissioner has ruled that former city councillor Doug Ford broke council's code of conduct by lobbying inside city hall on behalf of two companies that have ties to the Fords' family business.

Formal complaint was launched by advocacy group Democracy Watch in 2014

Toronto's integrity commissioner found former councillor Doug Ford broke two articles in city council's code of conduct. (CBC)

Former city councilor Doug Ford broke council's code of conduct by lobbying inside city hall on behalf of two companies that have ties to the Ford's family business, the city of Toronto's integrity commissioner has ruled.

The complaint was launched against Doug Ford and his late brother, former mayor Rob Ford, in June 2014 by advocacy group Democracy Watch.  

In a statement released by the city's watchdog Thursday, Integrity Commissioner Valerie Jepson announced that following an investigation, Doug Ford was found to have used improper influence when he involved city staff in dealings with Apollo Health and Beauty Care, and Donnelley and Sons.

Both companies are clients of the Ford family printing company, Deco Labels and Tags Ltd.

The watchdog said the former councilor "arranged meetings and made inquiries with city staff on behalf of Apollo and Donnelley, clients of Deco."

Jepson also said Ford, who has mused about either running for mayor in 2018 or running for a seat in the provincial Legislature as a Progressive Conservative, accepted a gift from Apollo, further breaking city council's code of conduct. 

Democracy Watch reacted to the ruling Thursday saying, "it is good to see the ruling confirm that Doug Ford is an unethical politician." 

"What Doug Ford did is one of the worst things you can do as a politician, and he should be facing a significant fine of one year's salary as his penalty," they added. 

The commissioner confirmed that because Ford is no longer a member of city council, she will make no recommendations in terms of a penalty. 

CBC News reached out to Doug Ford and the manager of Deco Labels but did not get a response. 

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