Rob Ford still hasn’t learned how to separate city hall and football
The Toronto media is abuzz today about a Globe and Mail story that alleges Rob Ford uses his taxpayer–funded staff (specifically, his special assistants Chris Fickel and Isaac Shirokoff) and taxpayer-funded resources (specifically, their cellphones) for his summer football team. Here’s what the paper says:
Two of Mr. Ford’s “special assistants” – Chris Fickel and Isaac Shirokoff – are listed as contacts on the official Facebook page for Mr. Ford’s Rexdale Raiders, whose varsity and junior varsity squads play summer football in the Ontario Minor Football League.
A city official confirmed the numbers that Mr. Fickel and Mr. Shirokoff list on the Raiders page are for city-issued, taxpayer-funded cellphones. […] Although an unnamed administrator answers most of the queries on the Raiders Facebook page, Mr. Fickel posted under his own name at least four times, usually with reminders or instructions for the players.
The word is Shirokoff has also worked on football-related matters extensively during the workday, and he picked up players and equipment using a city car. For the record, Ford’s office says staff members accompanied him to practices and games “to assist him in his official duties,” and Doug Ford explained the staff members were volunteering their time.
We only wish the news were more of a shock. Rob Ford’s love of youth football has landed him in trouble before—his football foundation was at the centre of his conflict-of-interest hearing last week, and he has faced criticism for the time he devotes to coaching. Plus, we always thought it surprising that Ford, no stranger to embarrassing situations, had yet to have a social media mishap. That’s another one crossed off the list.
• Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s office aides help run his football teams [Globe and Mail]
• Rob Ford: Staffers are at football events to help with ‘official duties’ [Toronto Star]
• Doug Ford Plays Spinmaster After Mayor Rob Ford’s Latest Football Snafu [Torontoist]