Beleaguered Mayor Rob Ford received a bit of good news to close out 2012 when a $6 million defamation lawsuit against him was dismissed.
George Foulidis, owner of the Boardwalk Pub, launched the suit and claimed that Ford defamed him in an interview in the Toronto Sun during the 2010 election.
The businessman, Boardwalk Pub restaurateur George Foulidis, alleged that Ford defamed him in comments the mayor made to the Toronto Sun during the 2010 municipal election campaign.
Ford had intimated that Foulidis’ company, Tuggs Inc., had been given exclusive rights to sell food in an area of the Beach neighbourhood due to backroom dealing and corruption which he said was common during closed in-camera council sessions.
In his decision, Ontario Superior Court Justice John Macdonald said Ford did not necessarily target Foulidis specifically and that his words did not qualify as defamation, instead merely suggesting a suspicion of corruption.
“The defendant voiced only a suspicion of corruption which he, immediately and in clear terms, admitted was without factual foundation or insufficient for him to be able to say that anyone had done anything wrong,” Macdonald wrote in his decision. “In my opinion, he clearly and explicitly prevented any defamatory meaning being perceived in his suspicion of corruption.”
Macdonald also expressed doubt about the credibility and reliability of Foulidis’ testimony, including his claim that his absence from the Tuggs’ corporate profile was just a simple mistake.
In a statement following the verdict, Ford vowed to “continue fighting to represent the best interests of Toronto taxpayers at City Hall.”