Toronto’s top cop accepts apology from Mayor Rob Ford’s brother

Toronto’s police chief accepted a written apology from Mayor Rob Ford’s brother on Thursday, after a public dispute over comments the chief called “false and slanderous.”

TORONTO — Toronto’s police chief accepted a written apology from Mayor Rob Ford’s brother on Thursday, after a public dispute over comments the chief called “false and slanderous.”

Chief Bill Blair had threatened legal action after Coun. Doug Ford publicly accused him of leaking information about an investigation involving the mayor as “payback.”

“It was important to me to get a retraction and apology in writing so that there could be no confusion among those who had heard or read about Mr. Ford’s false statements,” Blair said.

Doug Ford had suggested two weeks ago that Blair helped leak information, after a Toronto Star report cited sources saying police were preparing to subpoena the mayor to testify at a preliminary hearing for his friend Alexander (Sandro) Lisi, who is facing drug and extortion charges.

Ford said that the leak was politically motivated.

“When you tell the media there’s a subpoena and don’t tell anyone else? That alone says it all right there. That says it all,” he had said at the time. “It’s disappointing that the police chief, in my opinion, would condone this behaviour from his own department.”

The public letter of apology and retraction comes three days after Blair filed a defamation notice against Ford.

The councillor verbally apologized on Wednesday in front of city hall media but Blair said his words didn’t meet the terms laid out in the notice.

“Mr. Ford began to retreat from his comments but failed to fully and completely acknowledge that his statements had been false and totally without foundation,” he said.

Ford wrote a letter to the chief on Thursday, saying that he wanted to dispel any suggestion Blair was personally involved with leaking information to the media.

“I completely and fully apologize to Chief Blair for any inference or suggestion in my comments that he has acted in a personally dishonourable way,” he wrote, calling the chief a “person of high integrity.”

Blair said that while criticism “comes with the turf” of being police chief, he felt he had to respond to Ford’s accusations.

“Lies that go to the heart of your integrity cannot be tolerated,” he said.

In the letter, Ford outlined a plan to donate $1,000 to the Covenant House, a shelter for homeless youth in Toronto. Blair sits on the board of the charity, and said it was his intention that any money recovered from damages be donated.

Mayor Rob Ford has repeatedly said the dispute doesn’t involve him but added on Thursday that his brother was “sincere” in expressing his regrets.

Both Fords have publicly criticized Blair ever since a police investigation last year turned up a video which appeared to show Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine.

At a news conference last October, Blair had said he was disappointed at what the video showed.

The mayor, who later admitted to smoking crack cocaine in a “drunken stupor,” has publicly accused Blair of wasting taxpayers’ money with the investigation and challenged the chief to arrest and charge him.

Blair also addressed speculation Thursday that a member of the police service leaked information.

“We have been advised by the reporter who originally disclosed this information that she received this information from a non-police source,” he said, adding that he is standing up for the “integrity of the service.”

The police services board hasn’t renewed Blair’s contract, meaning his term will end next April.

Blair said the discussion surrounding his employment contract is confidential.

Just Posted

Red Deer church donates to Safe Harbour

It was all about helping those in need at Safe Harbour in… Continue reading

Former firefighter with PTSD sues Syncrude over suspended benefits, dismissal

CALGARY — A lawsuit filed by a former firefighter and paramedic against… Continue reading

Call for tighter bail rules after Saudi sex-crime suspect vanishes

HALIFAX — Mohammed Zuraibi Alzoabi may have hoped to quietly disappear from… Continue reading

Democrats aren’t buying Trump’s shutdown-ending ‘compromise’

WASHINGTON — In a bid to break the shutdown stalemate, President Donald… Continue reading

Updated: Red Deer welcomes 2019 Canada Winter Games Team Alberta

About 250 Alberta athletes are participating in the Games

Students seen mocking Native Americans could face expulsion

One 11-minute video of the confrontation shows the Haka dance and students loudly chanting

Curtain rising Sunday night on total lunar eclipse

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The celestial curtain will be rising soon on… Continue reading

At 30-day mark, shutdown logjam remains over border funding

WASHINGTON — Thirty days into the partial government shutdown, Democrats and Republicans… Continue reading

Holocaust victims buried after remains found in UK museum

LONDON — The remains of six unidentified Holocaust victims were buried in… Continue reading

Giuliani: ‘So what’ if Trump and Cohen discussed testimony

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani left open Sunday the… Continue reading

Photos: Rocks fly at 37th Annual Oilmen’s Bonspiel

Twenty-nine teams gathered at the Pidherney Curling Centre in Red Deer for… Continue reading

Death toll reaches 79 in Mexico fuel pipeline fire horror

TLAHUELILPAN, Mexico — People in the town where a gasoline explosion killed… Continue reading

With Trump out, Davos chief eyes fixing world architecture

DAVOS, Switzerland — The founder of the World Economic Forum says U.S.… Continue reading

Mexican pipeline explosion kills 71, leaves nightmare of ash

TLAHUELILPAN, Mexico — Gerardo Perez returned Saturday to the scorched field in… Continue reading

Most Read