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Bill Blair Serves Doug Ford With Defamation Notice

Doug Ford just got served.

Toronto's top cop, Bill Blair, has followed through on his threat to take legal action against the city councillor over accusations Ford made earlier this month. Ford suggested the chief helped leak information that police were set to subpoena the mayor as political "payback."

UPDATE: Doug Ford has apologized to Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair.

Toronto police spokesman Mark Pugash says the defamation notice was handed to the councillor on Monday night. The notice calls for a public retraction and apology.

"Chief Blair said in his statement that he was prepared to take legal action, and he has," Pugash told The Globe and Mail Tuesday.

Doug Ford wouldn't answer questions Tuesday about whether he would apologize to Blair.

"There is no lawsuit as far as I know," he said.

And Rob Ford also refused to comment, saying it was a matter "between the chief and my brother."

Weeks ago, The Toronto Star cited sources saying cops would subpoena Rob Ford to testify at the preliminary hearing of his friend and former driver Sandro Lisi, who is currently facing drug and extortion charges.

Doug Ford suggested to city hall reporters the leak was instigated by Blair, who has clashed publicly with the Ford brothers and recently learned the police services board would not extend his contract again.

"Rob's changed his life. I just hope the top-ranking person in the police would change his life and follow the rules," Doug Ford told The Globe.

Doug Ford told reporters it was "disappointing" the chief would "condone" such behaviour from his department.

"When you tell the media there's a subpoena and don't tell anyone else? That alone says it all right there. That says it all."

But Blair fought back with a statement through his spokesman Pugash.

"Doug Ford is lying," he said in the statement. "I am prepared to take legal action."

Doug Ford later tried to downplay his attack by telling CBC News the leak could have come from another source.

"I get rambunctious and I'm entitled to my opinion," he said. "I never said it was [Blair] personally who leaked the information."

Both Ford brothers have repeatedly claimed that an ongoing police investigation of the mayor is politically motivated.

Blair found himself the target of the Rob Ford's anger over the police probe that turned up a video apparently showing him smoking crack cocaine. At a news conference last October, Blair said he was "disappointed" at what it showed.

The mayor, who later admitted to smoking crack cocaine in a "drunken stupor," has publicly accused Blair of wasting taxpayers' money with the investigation and challenged the chief to arrest and charge him.

Rob Ford also made disparaging comments about Blair during a videotaped tirade he said happened when he had been drinking. Blair called the profane rant "disgusting" and "shameful."

In February, Doug Ford even accused the chief of "breaking the law" and openly campaigning for his "buddy," John Tory.

With files from The Canadian Press

Doug Ford Means Business
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