Newsstand: July 10, 2014




Newsstand: July 10, 2014

Robin Thicke’s latest album sold an embarrassing 550 copies in Canada in its first week, with the Atlantic calling it “one of the creepiest albums ever made.” So, in short, cheating on your wife and then making a public plea for her to take you back using the majesty of song is probably not a great career direction. In the news: Giorgio Mammoliti will be docked three months' pay, Rob Ford doesn’t participate in a standing ovation for WorldPride organizers, five people scammed the City of Vaughan out of $2.4 million, and DC will let the Jeffrey Baldwin statue use the Superman logo.

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Yesterday City Council voted 37-2 to dock Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti (Ward 7, York West) three months’ pay—equal to $26,000—over a fundraising dinner last year which netted him $80,000. It was a punishment recommended by integrity commissioner Janet Leiper, who contends that Mammoliti violated council rules on gifts and donations. In a second vote, which passed 33-6, council also chose to hire outside legal counsel to investigate possible criminality of the fundraiser, which was attended by lobbyists and other parties with vested interests in City Hall business. The City’s lobbyist registrar is also conducting a separate investigation. For his part, Mammoliti sees no ethical or criminal wrongdoing related to his actions, saying, “You tell me how a guy who’s got his head cracked open with brain surgeries can break any laws or policies.” Well, okay then.

Mayor Rob Ford, however, offered less explanation as to why he remained seated during a standing ovation at City Hall yesterday to recognize the work of WorldPride organizers, including City Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam (Ward 27, Toronto Centre-Rosedale). When reporters asked him why he remained seated, Mayor Ford simply responded, “You guys have asked me this question for 14 years. You know the answer… I’m not homophobic.”

Five people have been charged with scamming the City of Vaughan out of $2.4 million by issuing bogus invoices from fake companies. One suspect, Benjamin Ciampichini, was a supervisor at Vaughan’s Water, Wastewater and Drainage Department. He allegedly created fake businesses and then issued and approved purchase orders with the assistance of family members and a friend. An investigation was launched in 2013 following an internal audit, which revealed that approximately 1,000 fake invoices were filled across the span of 13 years. Obviously no one should make a career of committing fraud, but paying out invoices from fake companies for over a decade without any suspicion should probably inspire the City of Vaughan to reevaluate some of its accounting practices.

Finally, DC Entertainment has changed its mind and decided to allow the Superman S Shield logo to be emblazoned on a memorial statue depicting Jeffrey Baldwin, the boy who was starved to death by his grandparents in 2002. After international media coverage and a hailstorm of criticism on social media, DC Entertainment said in an emailed statement that they were able to reverse the decision “after verifying the support of appropriate family members,” although it’s pretty vague what that actually means. In the end, a little boy finally gets to be a superhero, and that may be all that matters.