August 26th, 2014
Mayor Rob Ford and his brother are not happy with the city protocol for violations of the code of conduct.
City council voted 30-4 in favour of accepting the integrity commissioner’s recommendation that Coun. Maria Augimeri be found in violation of the code of conduct, but face no sanctions.
Augimeri was found in breach of the code for referring to ward rival Gus Cusimano as a “criminale” in an Italian-language newspaper.
Cusimano ran against Augimeri in the 2010 municipal election and pleaded guilty to violating the Municipal Elections Act.
The sticking point for Mayor Ford and his brother, Coun. Doug Ford, was a third recommendation that legal costs incurred by Cusimano for his complaint be covered by the city council general expense budget.
“The councillor should be paying for this, folks. There’s no reason why the taxpayers should be paying $5,000. It doesn’t matter what account it comes under, it’s still taxpayers money,” Ford said at the council meeting.
Coun. Shelley Carroll accused the Fords of grandstanding on this issue because Cusimano is a Ford political ally, she said, citing a Toronto Star report.
Mayor Ford tabled a motion to have Augimeri pay the fees out of her own pocket. It was voted down 2-33, with the Fords the only “yes” votes.
Coun. Denzil Minnan-Wong then tabled a motion to have the funds come out of Augimeri’s constituency office budget, but that motions was also defeated 2-33, with Minnan-Wong and Josh Colle voting “yes.”
The Ford brothers were the only ones to veto a motion on Monday by Coun. Josh Matlow that passed 33-2. The proposal asked that the city ask the province to change the legislation to allow Toronto to use cheaper civilian labour than the $68 an hour paid duty officers get to stand at construction projects, public events and festivals.
City manager retires
Toronto city manager Joe Pennachetti and deputy manager Brenda Patterson both announced they would be retiring at the end of this council term.
Pennachetti said he’s proud of how city staff have weathered the the scandals surrounding Mayor Ford.
“With the political turmoil that there’s been in the last year to two years, we’ve marched ahead. as a team of Toronto public service, we’ve ensured that all those services are continued and I’m proud that occurred,” Pennachetti said.
Pennachetti has spent over 35 years in public service including the last 13 with the City of Toronto.
Patterson is retiring after a 38-year career that began at the United Way.
This is the last city council meeting for this term before the municipal election on Oct. 27.
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