Cheol Joon Baek
The mayor's office has addressed the latest media reports of impropriety related to his extra-curricular activities as a football coach.
On Wednesday several media outlets reported that at least two of Rob Ford's staffers have used city resources to help him coach Etobicoke football teams. The reports come on the heels of Ford taking heat for leaving an executive committee meeting on Monday to attend one of the team's scrimmages in Newmarket. In a separate matter that could see him removed from office, last week the mayor was in court to defend himself against conflict of interest allegations after he improperly used city resources to solicit donations for his football charity during his time as city councillor.
The full text of the mayor's statement is below:
It is no secret Mayor Rob Ford is passionate about football. He remains committed to supporting and creating opportunities for youth to better enhance their health, fitness and future prospects.
The Mayor's job is 24-hours a day, 365 days a year. Despite this, Mayor Ford also volunteers hundreds of hours each year as a youth football coach and for other worthy causes.
"I'm okay if Councillors want to criticize me for helping kids. That's their right," said Mayor Rob Ford. "I'm a big guy and I can take it. However, Councillors should not be criticizing my staff. Each and every one of them works hard every day for the taxpayers of this great city. They put in at least 40 hours of work for taxpayers every week. Often more."
"Only a coward would criticize my staff. They can't defend themselves in the media against elected officials."
As Mayor of Toronto, Mayor Ford is accompanied by one or more of his staff members at most times, in order to assist him in his official duties. Staff in the Mayor's Office are selected for their jobs based on their skills, experience, education and commitment to making Toronto a better city.
The Mayor is a strong advocate for Toronto's volunteers. He volunteers himself and actively encourages others to do so. Paid work is not the only type of work that contributes to our society. Thousands of Toronto residents volunteer their skills and efforts every day - it's part of what makes this a great city.
"This city wouldn't be the same without volunteers and I appreciate everything they do," said Mayor Ford.