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politics

Doug Ford Publicly Apologizes to Chief Bill Blair

Councillor retracts his statements about alleged information leaks from the police after Blair files defamation notice against him.

Photo by photopia, from the Torontoist Flickr pool.

Two days after Chief Bill Blair filed a defamation notice against Councillor Doug Ford (Ward 2, Etobicoke North), the councillor has issued an apology for statements he made suggesting Blair was involved in the leaking of information about a possible pending subpoena for Mayor Rob Ford in the Sandro Lisi extortion case.

Speaking to the media today, Ford stated, “I apologize to the chief, he feels I impugned his reputation. I retract my statements.” He apparently spoke with the chief this morning to convey personally his regrets. “It’s time to bury the hatchet,” he commented. “Let’s hang up the gloves. We both have a couple months left.” It was not clear how the chief responded to these sentiments.

His apology, Ford explained, was “not about money [because] our lawyers have told us very clearly, this is going to be going nowhere and with minimal damages.” Instead, he said, he was “taking the high road.”

“It will be up to the chief if he wants to move forward with this,” Ford commented. Blair has not accepted the apology because, police spokesman Mark Pugash explained, “The terms of the notice of defamation require the retraction and apology to be agreed by the chief beforehand, that hasn’t taken place.” Pugash also noted that during Ford’s phone conversation with Blair, the chief made him aware of these conditions—and that Ford agreed to put the apology in writing. He has not yet done so, but said to CP24, “My lawyer’s in the process of doing that.”

UPDATE: August 13, 2014, 3:00 PM This post has been updated with comments from police spokesperson Mark Pugash about Chief Bill Blair’s response.

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