Mayor Rob Ford has been served notice by reporter Daniel Dale

Lawsuit surrounds comments Ford made during an interview on Monday...

Toronto Star Reporter Daniel Dale
Toronto Star

Mayor Rob Ford has been served papers indicating a lawsuit is being launched against him by Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale.

The papers are a 'libel notice' which, according to lawyers, is a prerequisite to a statement of claim in a lawsuit.

Vision TV will also be sued, because they aired the interview twice.

The suit surrounds the comments made in an interview between Mayor Ford and Conrad Black that aired on Zoomer TV on Monday.

In that interview, Ford had referenced the case where Dale was reportedly near the backyard of the Mayor, and Ford claims he was taking pictures.

"When a guy is taking pictures of little kids... I don't want to say that word... but you start thinking, what's this all about?"

Mayor Ford was asked about the comments on Tuesday, the day after the interview aired, but refused to retract them.

The Toronto Star says they are standing behind their reporter, and paying all of his legal bills.

Daniel Dale posted the following statement on the Toronto Star website:

Goodness. As the mayor likes to say: enough’s enough.

I am serving Rob Ford today with a libel notice, the first step in the process of pursuing a defamation lawsuit. I am also serving Vision TV, which twice broadcast Ford’s vile and defamatory remarks to Conrad Black even though their interview was filmed days before it aired.

It had become clear to me that, if I had done nothing, the mayor would make his smears some sort of political talking point. His comments to Black were no one-time slip; they seemed to be the first shots in a bewildering campaign against my good name. At a Tuesday news conference, he pointedly said he stands by “every word.” Today, he repeated many of his false claims on American radio.

No matter how much stress a legal battle might add to my personal and professional life, it is, simply, now necessary.

As my libel notice says, I’m asking Ford to immediately retract the false insinuation that I am a pedophile and all of his false statements about my conduct on May 2, 2012. I’m also asking Ford and Vision owner ZoomerMedia to apologize immediately “publicly, abjectly, unreservedly and completely.”

If Ford does not do so, we’ll see if he is willing to repeat his lies under penalty of perjury.

I did not want to do this. In fact, I so strongly did not want to do this that I had a whole announcement written about why I was going to take the high road and give Ford a pass for his defamation against me. I was going to make the announcement this morning.

I didn’t want to complicate my happy life. I’m a non-confrontational guy, and I just wanted to write articles and go home. I didn’t want to be goaded into a legal battle that could last a long time. The mayor very much deserved to be sued, I knew, but I thought I could do more good for the city by challenging him at city hall on policy than challenging him about me in a courtroom.

Ford’s persistence changed my mind.

I planned to say in my announcement that I would reconsider my decision if the mayor were to repeat his lies in the future. I woke up this morning to learn that he is already repeating them. On a Washington, D.C. sports radio show, he falsely said:

  • I was “looking over (his) fence taking pictures.” Never happened.
  • I was “taking pictures in the backyard,” Never happened; if it were true, police Det. Tricia Johnston told me, I would have been charged with a crime.
  • “He got caught. I got his phone. I got his camera. I had everything.” I had no camera, just a phone with a camera function. At my invitation, Det. Johnston went through the phone and found no pictures whatsoever from that night.
  • “He’s saying he wasn’t taking pictures, well, what are you doing in my backyard on cinderblocks ...” I never stood on anything but the grass of a public park, never even saw these blocks, was never in the backyard. I was on public land researching a public interest story about the mayor’s unusual application to buy public land.

Crucially, Ford added this: “When you’ve got young kids, that freaked me right out.” This isn’t quite as egregious as the comment he made to Black, but it brought renewed attention to his malicious and defamatory insinuation to Black that I have some sort of predatory interest in young children — that I am a pedophile.

I can’t tolerate it. I won’t tolerate it.

With the full support of the Star, I will stay on the city hall beat while pursuing this action. No reasonable person questioned the appropriateness of me continuing to cover Ford after he insinuated I was a pedophile, or after he confronted me menacingly and called police on me for standing in a park; my reporting will be no more ethically compromised by my effort to hold him to account for this insinuation about the incident than it was by the incident or the insinuation itself.

If a municipal politician had, hypothetically, clubbed me with a two-by-four, I told the police about it, and they charged him, I don’t think anyone could fairly argue that I needed to give up my job — I would simply be responding calmly and reasonably to unprompted aggression. Similarly, I don’t need to give up my job because I am responding calmly and reasonably to the mayor’s attempt to take a two-by-four to my reputation.

I can easily imagine the mayor and his brother attempting to turn the tables on the Star and calling for me to take a leave of absence, as councillors and much of the media had called for the mayor to do. I can easily imagine them accusing me of bias.

They will be wrong. I can, and will, continue to cover them with the utmost professionalism. I’m an exceptionally even-keeled person, and I just don’t want to think about this all the time as I go about doing the work I love. I will not let this affect my job. I will not be bullied off of my beat.

I can easily imagine the mayor and his brother alleging that this is another example of a Toronto Star vendetta against them. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Star’s most senior leaders made it clear to me from the start that this decision was entirely up to me. They were fully supportive after I emailed them last night to tell them I was going to let the matter drop.

One final word. Dozens of people, including people personally harmed by pedophilia, have offered me a total of thousands of dollars in donations for my legal fees. That’s remarkable.

I’m fortunate to work for an employer willing to go bat for its employees, and the Star will be covering my costs, so I’m good for cash. Perhaps all that offered money could be donated to an organization that assists victims of child abuse, and we can create some light out of all this dark nonsense? Maybe someone could ask the mayor if he would join us.

I donated last night to Boost, which recently opened a pioneering victims’ centre. There are other worthy organizations. Let's elevate the conversation the mayor wants to stay in the mud.

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  1. Peter posted on 12/12/2013 06:25 PM

    * * * Mayor Ford To Win Again * * *

    Unfortunately those that donated money to Mr. Dale are not going see any benefit from it.
    It is free money to Mr. Dale for him to try to save face from the humiliation he created for himself. The Star probably has no decision in what Mr. Dale is doing, trying to sue Mayor Ford.

    This won't go far because Mayor Ford didn't even state the P word.
    Mr. Dale created his own problem as it is commonly known that reporters stealing photos of anything will hang around his home, and that is what Mr. Dale was doing, - hanging around Mayor Fords home. Any reporter hanging around Mayors Ford home simply implies he was sneaking photos.

    The Star probably is not part of this as they would know that the lawsuit is going to be lost and don't want to be humiliated. They didn't take the bait, but Mr. Dale and his financial supporters did.

    Good Going Mayor Ford.

    Thank you Newstalk 1010

    1. Fred posted on 12/12/2013 06:36 PM
      @Peter Do you Ford Nation people ever bother with reading facts, or is it so hard for you do distinguish reality from fantasy. Nothing in your comments is consistent with what appears to have occured, otherwise Dale would have been charged. Here's how to spot the liar.
      I don't do crack
      Oh wait maybe I do
      Sorry my bad.

      That is the liar and repeated liar at that.
    2. REALITY BITES posted on 12/12/2013 09:52 PM
      @Peter Time to take your tinfoil hat in for some repairs, Peter.

      Your post contains the most deluded utterances since mayor-in-name-only Ford's complaints of the LRT's travelling down the middle of the streets.
  2. Sonny posted on 12/12/2013 06:40 PM
    Peter & Ford Nation; there is a video of what Rob said and Daniel's name was mentioned in a lie... Ford is not going to apologize even though he rolled out the kids for a Halloween photo op
    1. Peter posted on 12/12/2013 07:45 PM
      @Sonny .
      Thank you for your comment Sonny.

      I believe that you may mean Mayor Ford commenting on what he perceived,
      or what anyone could perceive, whether it's a fact or not. It was not a lie.
      He is free to comment on his perceptions. That is the context that his comments were in. He's not going to sign his name on it, or swear on it in front of a judge. Don't you agree?

  3. sanwin posted on 12/12/2013 07:37 PM
    DId Michael Cooke actually speak of Daniel Dale pleasuring himself ! On talk radio no less !
    1. don was right posted on 12/13/2013 08:44 AM
      @sanwin Maybe Cooke knows something we don't.Please tell us more
  4. Tim posted on 12/12/2013 07:45 PM
    Perfect example of how the mayor has no common sense. He could have avoided this entire thing if he had done the following. All of which I might add is a pretty minimal standard to expect from any politician in a position of authority when they are purchasing public land.

    1) The moment he made a request to buy this public property he issues a press release stating exactly where the property is and his reasons for purchasing it (rather than having the media have to search for the request itself which at the time did not include any map of the site in question).

    2) Invite the media to an event where he would describe the land and his intentions towards it.

    3) (optional) Make himself more available to the media in general.

    Had he done the first two things, both of which I think are pretty reasonable given that this was public land being purchased, he could likely avoided all of this. Dale didn't know which piece of land (at the side of the house or behind it) was the land in question because at that point that information hadn't been released.
    1. sanwin posted on 12/12/2013 08:33 PM
      @Tim And then he should invite you in got tea and cookies ?
    2. Mark7 posted on 12/13/2013 11:51 AM
      @Tim What the heck are you rambling on about?
  5. Dean posted on 12/12/2013 08:06 PM
    Well ... Daniel Dale does LOOK LIKE A PEDO :P
    1. DMCP posted on 12/12/2013 10:20 PM
      @Dean Actually in that photo DD resembles Luka Maggnatta but when he wears his Coca Cola glasses he does look like a pervert.
  6. sally posted on 12/12/2013 08:18 PM
    Well, boo hoo Mr. Dale, maybe now you get a taste of what it's like to be the accused ..Btw I don't believe that you were not there to spy on the Fords....
    1. Peter posted on 12/12/2013 08:26 PM
      @sally .
      Thank you for your comment Sally.

      Yes , reporters hanging around Mayor Fords home implies that they are
      Paparazzi. Who would think otherwise, unless Mr. Dale - who is trying to save face from Mayor Ford's comments.

  7. Frankie posted on 12/12/2013 09:19 PM
    As I heard it Rob Ford merely verbalized that when he saw Dale he thought he was someone who might harm his kids. He never called Dale a pedophile or even mentioned the word.

    If we're at the point where one can be prosecuted for merely explaning what they were thinking we're in serious trouble.

    I didn't realize we're now on par with countries such as North Korea, the former Soviet Union and their ilk.

    I hope the judge makes Dale pay all the court costs for this obviously spurious claim.
    1. tanjo posted on 12/13/2013 12:26 AM
      @Frankie He may have believed it at the time, But video evidence from his own security camera proved that presumption wrong.

      Ford also framed it as the worst incident that occurred when Black asked him about how intrusive the media has been.

      So, please tell me how his false statements, and the context in which they were used, can be explained as being only his perception.
  8. REALITY BITES posted on 12/13/2013 05:01 AM
    Mark this statement.

    This defamation suit is a slam-dunk for Daniel Dale.
    Any other so-called "well-thought-out"opinion is just wishful thinking.
    1. Mark7 posted on 12/13/2013 11:57 AM
      @REALITY BITES Take your police state attitudes and leave Canada. This should not even make it to court. It has nothing to do with Mr. ford being part of it. REALITY BITES (ranter) why is it you are always on the wrong side of issues? Where is your common sense?
  9. Mike from the hinterland posted on 12/13/2013 05:24 AM
    I am not a Rob Ford supporter and I do not support his drug use and alcohol binges. If someone was outside my house even though they were not on my property, I would be suspicious indeed. I am sure there would be several things running through my mind such as is this a prowler, is this guy going to try to break in, is this guy go to harm my family, is this guy mentally ill or is this guy going to harm my children. I believe that several things ran through Rob Ford's mind at the time including his statement. I have no problem with him thinking that way or expressing it that way. What I have a problem with is the way Rob Ford is expressing himself now. He could have said, there were a million things running through my mind that day and I was afraid for my family and I was thinking anything from a prowler to his statement.

    Yes you can second guess him now by saying he should have called the police. The Ford home is besieged by an aggressive press and he is confronted in his drive way constantly. I am sure that I would have confronted someone outside my place by asking who are you and what you doing here and asking to leave and then call police. Rob Ford was protecting his house, his family and his privacy. No other politician in my recent memory has had to endure this crap.

    I do question the motives of the Toronto Star. I believe they want to get Rob Ford into a kangaroo court put Rob Ford on the stand and then question him on non related matters while under oath or through a deposition. This has nothing to do with Daniel Dale's reputation.

    I have a suggestion for Rob Ford, get a German Shepherd and let him loose and hopefully it will bite a few reporters in the ass. In my opinion, Dale should suck it up princess!
    1. Karl Burgin posted on 12/13/2013 08:50 AM
      @Mike from the hinterland "I do question the motives of the Toronto Star."

      You are precisely right. Because the last time I checked, they are supposed to report the news- not make the news. And they have been making the news a lot lately.
  10. Karl Burgin posted on 12/13/2013 08:57 AM
    Haha...we're finally going to court, and the Star took the bait. Now we can finally do some damage to that wretched excuse that think of themselves as a newspaper.

    It doesn't matter what Ford said about Dale. The question was what Ford thought was going on outside his backyard at the time, and he answered. I at first didn't link the incident with pedophile. The words that came to mind then were, 'sissy, idiot, trouble-maker, nuisance'. And I'm pretty sure that's the conclusion most people would have to come to as well.
    But now you have the media throwing around the word 'pedophile' and attaching it to Daniel Dale's name. And for once, we see a rare occasion, where the media has just become its own worse enemy.
    Again, Ford was extremely smart for not delving into his comments during the interview further when asked again. He went further, or made any further comments, then he would have been in hot water. But as it stands now, the Toronto Star has egg on it's face, and if they follow through with this, are going to be in for a tarring session, covered with feathers.

    This is what happens when you take your vendetta too far- now its just time to sit back, and watch the fireworks.
    1. Frankie posted on 12/13/2013 09:17 AM
      @Karl Burgin IMO if it goes to court let's hope it's heard by a reasonable judge. When Ford won in court against Ruby (( believe) he wasn't awarded costs which, according to legal friends of mine, was surprising even though it's the judge's discretion.

      I can't believe all these people think he's guilty for having a thought that turns out to be incorrect. If that were the case we'd all be sued for libel, or worse.
    2. Mark7 posted on 12/13/2013 12:12 PM
      @Karl Burgin If The Ford Haters Club get their wish and Rob loses this joke of a case, we will be setting the stage for a police state. All Ford haters need to shake their heads. This is what they want? Stupid is what stupid does... We already have "hate laws" (joke) for suppression of free speech.

      This trial if lost will limit expression of words themselves. The Ford Haters Club say Mr. Ford has damaged us, yet their thoughts and actions are far more dangerous than what they perceive his to be. Of course this is the mindset of leftie lovers semblance of intelligence.

      ps...Have you noticed all the goodies that bitch Wynn is offering us? Karl, being astute like I, I know that question was not neccessary. It is for the leftie voters. All here lies will be believed as Fiberal election platform lies always are.

      You and I can have a hayday if the Lobranos get in again. We will have far more ammo to laugh at them then they will ever have on Ford supporters. Four CFRB resident trolls I will be on night and day until the voting time comes, yet again.

      As for the Star...pitiful as always.
  11. justsaying posted on 12/13/2013 10:48 AM
    Oh Karl, you continue to amaze. Was in Montreal yesterday and everyone I met just could not stop talking about our mayor on international TV. And no, none of it was flattering in the least to Mr. Ford.

    The reporter was working on a story about property boundaries and took no photos of Rob's land.

    This was already known by Rob and the Police, otherwise he would have been charged.

    Yet Mayor Ford chose to ignore this truth, made up lies and slanders a journalist and labels him a Pedo - not only on Canadian media but on American media too.

    The sense of entitlement is amazing. The fact you are supporting it only shows what disdain you and the mayor have for the majority of the citizens of this city (aka, everyone except the Enablers that is Ford Nation). Disgusting. How about if we truly figure out where Ford Nation lives (three block area in Etobicoke) and remove it from the City of Toronto and you can administer yourselves with Rob, and leave the rest of us decent people alone.
    1. Karl Burgin posted on 12/13/2013 11:01 AM
      @justsaying You're funny. So who cares if no one in Montreal much cares for Mayor Ford. I'm sure they're one to talk- as they went through...what...4 mayors already- this year-either convicted or resigned for corruption. So yeah, Montreal is a real good litmus test to get an opinion for our mayor.

      Secondly, Ford was asked what he thought AT THE TIME. This was before any facts came out, any misunderstandings clarified, and any video.

      And yes, the sense of entitlement is amazing. The fact that the Toronto Star wants to get down and dirty, but still keep it's so-called white-washed imagery. Keep dreaming. And if you've had enough of Ford, then move out of Toronto. You don;t see the people moving out of Ontario, because we've suffered years of abuse at the hands of the Liberals- even as much as people will soon be tempted to.
    2. Mark7 posted on 12/13/2013 12:18 PM
      @justsaying Who cares what corrupt Montreal has to say?!@ hahaha More of you spewing utter nonsense.
  12. john posted on 12/13/2013 10:48 AM
    look i dont care he had no right going into someones property without the owners permission . it only takes 2 seconds to call the owner and ask them if it is okey or knock on he door and ask for permission . . in the USA this dumb ass would be shot . for doing that and the owner would have every right to shot him .
    1. Karl Burgin posted on 12/13/2013 11:02 AM
      @john Very true. I was about to bring it up but you beat me to it.
    2. tanjo posted on 12/13/2013 11:15 AM
      @john The surveillance video reviewed by police indicates that Dale never went on the property. You are being lied to. Again.
  13. Peter posted on 12/13/2013 11:32 AM

    Conrad Black is just going to whip Mr. Dale but good.

    Conrad Black stated ``If the Star goes to court with this turkey (Mr. Dale) , they'll be killed. They raised the pedophilia question; Ford didn't.''

    It's going to be media mogul V.S. The Star.

    Like Karl, I'm getting my popcorn out.

    Thank you Newstalk 1010
    1. tanjo posted on 12/13/2013 11:50 AM
      @Peter ... at the same time, he is doing a full reverse, complete with skidmarks from Ford and his comments.

      Remember Black was also convinced he would be completely exonerated when he was sent to prison in the U.S.

      I am doing Kettle Corn myself. 1/4 cup oil, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 cup popcorn. Put three kernels in the oil and heat until they pop. Add sugar and kernels. Shake constantly while popping. Salt to taste.
    2. al d posted on 12/13/2013 03:50 PM
      @Peter Conrad will chew them up and spit them out.
  14. Mart8n posted on 12/13/2013 12:24 PM
    On related news, Dale front page article in TS.. 'Star is paying for the Lawsuit to Rob Ford.' Star vs Ford. Enough said.
  15. Peter posted on 12/13/2013 01:21 PM
    Here is a twist:
    What if someone does some investigative reporting on Mr. Dales character.
    - Look into his past, his habits, his family, his photography. Who knows what can of worms could be opened. Who knows what discrediting stories can surface,
    maybe his worst fears. Who really knows Mr. Dale.

    Is this fair to make this comment?

    1. Karl Burgin posted on 12/13/2013 01:29 PM
      @Peter That would require the Star assigning a 17-man roster to follow Mr. Dale every move, day and night.

      Unfortunately, since most of their money and resources are spent on Mr. Ford, I doubt they can muster anything extra to investigate Mr. Dale.
  16. R@ssl posted on 12/13/2013 02:04 PM
    Didn't Rob Ford called the media maggots? Shouldn't that had been another libel suit.. unless, of course.. You know, this could possibly backfire by raising support for Ford, as a newspaper suing through proxy of an employee. If Dale loses, that could possibly be the end of his career. Rob Ford has withstood worst natural disasters, which will make this Golliah vs Dale Star, or Left vs Right. Probably ultimate reality tv. Somebody should probably franchise this and make TV seasons. I could see this court case being followed by international media all over again. I just want the bluray version.
    1. Karl Burgin posted on 12/13/2013 03:52 PM
      @R@ssl He apologized as soon as he said it unfortunately- so it wouldn't count. lol
  17. Mark7 posted on 12/14/2013 01:15 PM
    Could the Toronto Star please starting using softer paper. It is discomforting wiping my ass with the current paper grade quality.
    1. Karl Burgin posted on 12/15/2013 10:52 PM
      @Mark7 LMAO
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