POLITICS

Rob Ford Must 'Smarten Up,' Says Council Ally

09/21/2012 10:20 EDT | Updated 11/21/2012 05:12 EST
AP
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, faced with fresh allegations he personally approached senior officials to have the road in front of his family business paved in time for a company celebration, needs to "smarten up," says one of his staunchest allies on council.

"It couldn't have happened at a worse time … there's no question about that. The mayor needs to be exceedingly careful about how he conducts his affairs. It's hurting the agenda that he was elected on," Coun. Denzil Minnan-Wong said on CBC's Metro Morning on Friday.

When asked if he had any advice for the mayor, Minnan-Wong, who was appointed by the mayor to chair the public works and infrastructure committee simply replied, "smarten up."

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His comments come after The Globe and Mail reported that the mayor personally met with senior staff to request that unscheduled repairs be carried on a stretch of Greensboro Drive, where the headquarters of his family business Deco Labels is located.

The mayor's press secretary George Christopoulos said in an email to The Globe and Mail that Deco had requested repairs on the street for a number of years and asserted that he didn't believe the mayor received any special treatment.

The controversy comes just as the mayor is dealing with two other headaches — widespread criticism over his use of city resources to help administer the football teams he runs and a legal challenge over conflict of interest rules he is alleged to have broken that could ultimately result in him being removed from office.

"It's really important for the mayor to separate his duties and responsibilities as mayor from that of his personal and business relationships," Minnan-Wong said.

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