Toronto police Chief Bill Blair has filed a defamation notice against Coun. Doug Ford.
Police spokesperson Mark Pugash said Blair is looking for an apology and a retraction from the councillor.
Earlier this month, Coun. Ford accused Blair of leaking to the media that the police service is allegedly preparing to subpoena Mayor Rob Ford to testify in the extortion trial against Sandro Lisi, the mayor’s former friend and accused drug dealer.
At the time, Blair said Ford was lying and warned he was prepared to take legal action.
Pugash said Coun. Ford was served with the notice on Monday night.
“What the notice specifies is a public retraction and apology in a forum to be agreed (upon) beforehand by Chief Blair,” he said. “There’s no mention of money at all in the document.”
Pugash adds that the notice does not involve any taxpayer money, it will be paid for personally by Blair.
“The next step is with the councillor,” Pugash said.
Doug Ford said Tuesday that the issue was with his lawyers and refused to directly answer questions about whether he would apologize to Blair.
“There is no lawsuit as far as I know,” he said.
The councillor also criticized Pugash’s role as a spokesperson for Blair’s “private issues.”
At a news conference at his campaign headquarters, Mayor Ford said he couldn’t comment on the matter.
“The issue is between the chief and my brother,” he said.
“I’ve said what I had to say about the chief. I wish him the best of luck, I want to thank him for his service and that’s all I can say,” Rob Ford said, although he added he was “baffled” that the media found out about the notice of defamation so soon after it was served to his brother.
On Aug. 1, the Toronto Star cited sources saying police were preparing to subpoena the mayor to testify at a preliminary hearing for his friend Alessandro (Sandro) Lisi, who is facing drug and extortion charges.
Doug Ford blamed the apparent leak on Blair, calling it politically motivated.
“When you tell the media there’s a subpoena and don’t tell anyone else? That alone says it all right there. That says it all,” he said at the time.”It’s disappointing that the police chief, in my opinion, would condone this behaviour from his own department.”
Toronto’s police services board had announced earlier that week that Blair’s contract would not be renewed, effectively terminating his position as of next April.
Rob Ford has publicly criticized Blair ever since a police investigation last year turned up a video which appeared to show the mayor smoking crack cocaine.
At a news conference last October, Blair had said he was disappointed at what the video showed.
The mayor, who later admitted to smoking crack cocaine in a “drunken stupor,” has publicly accused Blair of wasting taxpayers’ money with the investigation and challenged the chief to arrest and charge him.