The City of Toronto’s integrity commissioner is staying out of the controversy surrounding Mayor Rob Ford, stating in a new report that she will not be investigating his behaviour.
Integrity commissioner Janet Leiper was asked by council last month to report on whether certain actions by the mayor violated council’s code of conduct. The actions, detailed in a motion passed by council in November, include misleading the city about the existence of a video on which he appears to be involved in the use of drugs and refusing to fully co-operate with police in an investigation.
In a report to go to council next week, Ms. Leiper states that while the code of conduct outlines several principles for councillors in its preamble, such as “performing their functions with integrity” and arranging their private affairs “in a manner that promotes public confidence and will bear close public scrutiny,” these are only “aspirational in nature.”
She recommends no further action be taken beyond the questioning of the mayor that took place on the floor of council in November.
Councillor Shelley Carroll, who put forward the request of the integrity commissioner at council, said the response is not surprising. It demonstrates the limitations of the code of conduct, she said, which mainly provides guidance. She said she introduced the amendment to gain broader support for a motion from Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong, which among other things asked the mayor to take a leave and apologize to council.
Mr. Ford admitted he smoked crack cocaine in a “drunken stupor” after months of denial and at the November meeting also said he bought illegal drugs while in office. The mayor is the subject of a police drug probe and is refusing requests from police to answer their questions.
Mr. Minnan-Wong said he does not need a report from Ms. Leiper to know what the mayor did was wrong.
“I don’t need the integrity commissioner to tell me whether the mayor has broken faith with the public and broken faith with their code of conduct,” he said. “The verdict is in.”