Mayor to face libel action over awarding of Boardwalk Pub contract
Lawyers representing Boardwalk Pub proprietor George Foulidis and Mayor Rob Ford are set to face off in court on Nov. 13, when a libel lawsuit dating back to the 2010 municipal campaign heads to Superior court.
Foulidis filed the $6-million defamation lawsuit against then-mayoral candidate Rob Ford in October 2010, following public statements made regarding the controversial approval of a 20-year exclusive contract for Foulidis’ company, Tuggs Inc. The sole-sourced lease agreement allows Tuggs to operate the Boardwalk Pub and concessions in Woodbine Beach and Ashbridges Bay Park.
During the election campaign, the Tuggs deal became fodder in an enflamed debate over the city issuing of sole-source contracts.
Foulidis’ allegations that Ford was tarnishing his reputation stem from an exchange that took place on CFRB’s Jerry Agar Show in July 2010.
Agar asked Ford whether “someone is getting money under the table”, in reference to the Tuggs lease, to which Ford replied, “I truly believe they are, and that’s my personal opinion.”
The statement of claim also cites an August 2010 Toronto Sun article wherein Ford referred to the deal between the city and Tuggs as corrupt.
Ford’s lawyers are defending him on the basis that Foulidis’s action is politically motivated, and that he is trying to stifle debate on a public matter.
In April, Foulidis told the Town Crier he was merely defending himself against a defamatory attack.
“Somebody’s got to apologize or do something,” he said. “I did nothing wrong, I did everything by the law.”
Foulidis could not be reached for comment at press time.
Ford’s lawyer Gavin Tighe confirmed in an email the commencement date for Ford’s trial, but declined to provide comment on the case, stating “our position is set out in our statement of defence.”
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