UPDATED: Doug Ford gets police chief Bill Blair investigated for misconduct
Doug Ford has frequently alleged that his brother Rob’s troubles are the result of a conspiracy against the Ford family. His statements are usually interpreted as attempts to deflect blame for the mayor’s lapses of judgment onto adversaries in the media and in the justice system, and so we can only assume that councillor Ford is pretty pleased with himself for getting one of his complaints taken seriously.
Doug has repeatedly suggested that the Toronto police investigation into the crack video and other evidence of the mayor’s odd behaviour is politically motivated—the result of a secret vendetta being nursed by chief Bill Blair. There’s no evidence to suggest that this is actually the case. Among Doug’s non-sequiturs about Blair’s supposed hidden agenda, though, was one arguably legitimate complaint: during a November news conference, Doug accused Blair of having gone on a fishing trip with Andrew Pringle, a member of the police board. According to the National Post, the Office of the Independent Police Review Director, a police watchdog, is now investigating that allegation of misconduct.
A fishing trip with a board member could put Blair in breach of the Police Services Act, which bans municipal police officers from most “political activity.” It’s not clear, at this point, whether Blair has actually broken any rules.
Regardless of the outcome of the OIPRD’s investigation, it’s important to note that Blair’s probe of Rob Ford isn’t at issue. To date, the only officials consistently raising serious doubts about the need for clarity on the mayor’s off-the-books activities are the Fords themselves.
UPDATE: True to form, it seems Doug Ford embellished some of this story’s details, leading to inaccuracies in the National Post report that formed the basis of this article. The CBC reports that the OIPRD actually isn’t investigating the fishing trip. Instead, the focus of the probe is the chief’s statements during an October 31 press conference—the one where he revealed that police had possession of the crack tape. At that press conference, Blair told reporters that he was “disappointed” in the mayor. According to Toronto Police Services Board chair Alok Mukherjee, Doug’s real complaint was that the chief’s disparagement might affect Rob Ford’s ability to have a fair trial.
So, Doug thinks there’s a possibility the mayor will face criminal charges, then? Uh oh.