Canadian Security Magazine

Rob Ford security cover-up: ombudsman report

By The Canadian Press   

News Public Sector

A new report says security guards at Toronto City Hall helped cover up of failed to fully investigate incidents involving the city's scandal-plagued former mayor, Rob Ford.

Toronto ombudsman Fiona Crean says security staff failed to provide “equitable protection to all individuals” as public and media scrutiny of the mayor reached a fever pitch in 2013 and 2014.

In one case, she says guards covered a security camera recording a reportedly intoxicated Ford walking to his car in an underground parking lot, then allowed him to leave using an entrance ramp so that he could avoid journalists.

In another, security guards stood by when a shouting match erupted between the then-mayor, his councillor brother and members of the public at a council meeting in which Ford knocked down another councillor while rushing toward the public gallery.

Crean says security staff didn’t have the proper training and policies to deal with the “unprecedented demands” created by the attention on Ford, and at times appeared to act as his bodyguards.

Ford for months denied allegations that he suffered from substance abuse problems, but later admitted he had smoked crack cocaine in what he called one of his “drunken stupors.”

He went to a rehab centre last spring.

Ford was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer during last year’s mayoral race and chose to run for city council instead as he sought treatment. He is due to undergo surgery in early May.

Crean says her investigation isn’t about the former mayor’s actions, but “the influence the mayor’s office had on security cannot be ignored.”

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