New Year’s Eve levee
High: Rob Ford enjoys a feel-good day as he hobnobs with citizens at the New Year’s Levee.
City budget, part 1
Low: Mr. Ford begins his day by outlining the virtues of his budget in a carefully scripted address. But by lunch, he wanders off message and goes against parts of his own fiscal plan. At one point in the day, the mayor causes a stir with council by breaking rank with his executive committee – and his own budget chair – in a vote over property taxes.
City budget, part 2
Medium: Mr. Ford claims “a huge victory for the taxpayers in this great city” with a 2013 budget that ultimately holds the line on major spending. But by day’s end there is further crumbling of Mr. Ford’s inner circle as key ally Mike Del Grande says that he is stepping down as Budget Chair.
Conflict of interest case dismissed
Highest: The Mayor scores a major victory in winning his appeal in a conflict of interest case that could have resulted in removal from office. The verdict put an end to a months-long legal saga for Mr. Ford, who struggled to keep his cost-cutting agenda moving forward. Speaking at City Hall after the ruling, Mayor Ford tells reporters that “this has been a very humbling experience.” He says it is an “enormous privilege” to be mayor and that he plans to spend “the next six years” in the position.
Low: An audit says that Mr. Ford spent $40,168 more than allowed in his mayoral race and broke election rules dozens of times, setting the stage for another round of legal battles. The audit probe, which was later dropped, could have resulted in fines or the mayor losing his job if it was proven he broke the law.
High: Mr. Ford’s legal team files court documents saying it cost more than $116,000 to fight his conflict-of-interest case, and after winning his appeal they are asking the citizen who launched the lawsuit to pay up.
Audit probe dropped
High: Mr. Ford dodges another bullet when an audit committee votes not to launch legal proceedings against him. Mr. Ford, speaking with reporters after the vote, proclaimed it a “great day for democracy.” “I’d like to thank the people of Toronto who have supported me through thick and thin. I will never forget this. I will never take it for granted. It remains an honour and a privilege to be your mayor,” he said.
New complaint filed
Low: Just when Mr. Ford had cleared his legal hurdles, a Toronto artist and teacher, Frank Trotz, files a formal complaint against Mr. Ford because of letters that were sent from the mayor’s football foundation to registered lobbyists. The fundraising letter, which includes a photo of the mayor, arrived just days after Mr. Ford won his appeal on conflict-of-interest charges. Asking lobbyists for money for his private charity was the very thing that got the mayor into trouble in that case.
Don Bosco comments
Low: Controversy erupts after Mr. Ford speaks about his involvement coaching the Don Bosco football team in an interview with Sun News. “A lot of these kids come from gangs, they come from broken homes – the stories you would hear would bring a tear to your eye,” Mr. Ford said, describing the football players. Mr. Ford’s statements outrage parent leaders at the high school.
Thomson v. Ford
Low: Former mayoral candidate Sarah Thomson alleges that the mayor propositioned and groped her at an event hosted by a Jewish political group. Mr. Ford releases a statement denying the “absolutely, completely false” allegation.
Newstalk 1010 call-in
Low: Mr. Ford calls a Sunday radio show to discuss the Richard Kachkar trial over the January, 2011 slaying of Sergeant Ryan Russell. The call comes before the jury has been sequestered and makes comments that the defence characterizes in court the next day as “prehistoric.”
Report on the Garrison Ball
Lowest: A story about the mayor’s alleged alcohol abuse is published in the Toronto Star, which claimed he was asked to leave the Toronto Garrison Ball on Feb. 23 after reportedly speaking in a rambling, incoherent manner. The story cited anonymous sources, who said those closest to the mayor were concerned about his health and ability to run the city. The mayor calls the report “an outright lie.”
With files from Globe and Mail staff