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No request to destroy staff records received from mayor's office, city says

File photo of Mayor Rob Ford at a news conference at City Hall, March 22, 2013

TORONTO – The city says it did not receive a request from the mayor’s office to destroy the records of staff or former staff, following a Toronto Star report that says records were ordered destroyed.

The Star said that telephone and email records belonging to three former aides were ordered deleted. The report did not specify where the alleged order came from.

The report cited anonymous sources and said one of the sources expressed concerns that evidence related to the drug scandal surrounding Mayor Rob Ford could be wiped out.

Ford would not address the new allegations Wednesday, walking out of a news conference regarding an overnight thunderstorm.

A spokesperson for the city issued a statement denying anyone in the mayor’s office asked that records be deleted.

“The city has bylaws and policies in place to ensure that city records are not destroyed,” Jackie DeSouza said in the statement.

However, records related to personal, political or constituency matters are not subject to municipal freedom of information laws, meaning they are exempt from freedom of information requests and can be managed “as they see fit,” she said.

According to the Star, the records in question were stored on the city hall server and belonged to former staff members Mark Towhey, George Christopolous and Isaac Ransom.

Towey was fired last week while Christopolous and Ransom resigned earlier this week.

The newspaper has also reported that Ford’s head of logistics David Price discussed the possibility of seeking the alleged drug video with other members of the mayor’s staff. Neither Ford nor Price have addressed those allegations.

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