Doug Ford May Be Forced to Apologize to Activist
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Doug Ford May Be Forced to Apologize to Activist

Council could compel Ford to say "sorry" to the man who brought a campaign-compliance audit against his brother.

Janet Leiper, the City’s integrity commissioner, is asking Councillor Doug Ford (Ward 2, Etobicoke North) to apologize to Adam Chaleff-Freudenthaler, an activist Ford accosted during a July meeting of city council. At least one witness interviewed by Leiper corroborates Chaleff-Freudenthaler’s claim that Ford threatened him with the words “What goes around comes around.”

Ford’s behaviour wasn’t entirely unprovoked. About two months before the incident, Chaleff-Freudenthaler, along with a lawyer named Max Reed, had successfully filed for a campaign-finance audit of Rob Ford (who is, of course, Doug Ford’s brother). The mayor is still appealing the audit, reportedly at great expense. Fair Elections Toronto, a group headed by Chaleff-Freudenthaler, had also recently filed for similar campaign audits of several right-leaning city councillors, including Doug Ford. (Those applications were eventually rejected.) It was to this that Ford would have been referring when he confronted Chaleff-Freudenthaler at the meeting.

City council will consider Leiper’s report at their meeting next week. If they agree with her that Ford’s comments violated council’s code of conduct, Ford could be forced to send a written apology to Chaleff-Freudenthaler.

Leiper reports that Ford has already sent one letter informally, in which he characterizes the incident as a “misunderstanding.” Chaleff-Freudenthaler has rejected the apology as insincere.

[Disclosure: Chaleff-Freudenthaler is Torontoist editor-in-chief Hamutal Dotan’s partner; she was not involved in the writing or editing of this article.]

CORRECTION: February 1, 1:10 PM This article originally said that Doug Ford “will” be forced to send a written apology to Chaleff-Freudenthaler if councillors agree that Ford violated city council’s code of conduct. In fact, although a written apology is the sanction recommended by Leiper, council could choose another punishment, or none at all.

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