Giorgio Mammoliti, who drew the city integrity commissioner’s ire after accepting $80,000 in proceeds from a $500-a-plate dinner attended by lobbyists, suffered the most severe rebuke possible yesterday, when city council voted to dock his pay for three months. The penalty, which had been recommended by the integrity commissioner as a way for city council to deliver a “meaningful sanction” for Mammoliti’s breach of council’s code of conduct (which forbids politicians from accepting expensive gifts, especially from lobbyists), is the most severe one available under provincial law—and, the Star reports, the most severe one ever actually imposed following an integrity investigation. Mammoliti will lose about $26,000 as a result of the decision, leaving him with a net $54,000 profit (not bad!). He has promised to take the city to court in an effort to get the decision overturned. City council, in turn, voted to hire a lawyer to determine whether it’s worth lodging a criminal complaint over Mammo’s cozy dealings with businesses. It’s too soon to say for certain, but it’s beginning to seem as though the financial hit may end up being the least of his problems.
The city’s integrity commissioner has released a new report on Ward 7 councillor Giorgio Mammoliti, and there are so many incredible things about it that it’s difficult to know where to begin. Let’s start with this: because Mammoliti improperly accepted $80,000 in profits from a fundraising dinner attended by lobbyists, the integrity commissioner is recommending that he suffer the maximum possible penalty, which is the loss of three months’ salary.
“I don’t pretend to represent pedophiles. I don’t want anything to do with them and quite frankly I don’t think they should exist in society, and if that means death then that’s fine with me.”
—Ward 7 councillor Giorgio Mammoliti at a public consultation meeting on Monday night, doubling down on yesterday’s panicky rhetoric about the threat Parkdale sexual predators supposedly pose to youngsters who attend electronic dance music shows at Exhibition Place.
Ward 7 city councillor Giorgio Mammoliti is known for making extremely strange statements to the media (a habit he has at times blamed on a brain condition), but earlier today he entered some new, even weirder territory—and may have alienated an entire neighbourhood in the process.
Dean Blundell made a forced retreat after losing his morning radio show earlier this year, and it seems as though as though he’s taken his favourite in-studio guest along for the ride. Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti (yes, the guy who wants to turn to the Toronto Islands into a red-light district) made some memorable appearances on The Edge 102.1’s Dean Blundell Show, and now he stars in the latest episode of Blundell’s new podcast.
The interview is almost 50 minutes long, but here are the six essential takeaways.
1. Mammoliti is heterosexual and proud
Somehow, in the first five minutes of the interview, Mammo manages to assert his heterosexuality twice. “We’re both okay with our sexualities,” he tells Blundell after the radio host compliments his appearance. And then, later, during a discussion about strip clubs: “Look, I’m heterosexual, and I’m proud of that, too.”
“It was fine. Jimmy’s a comedian and he was just doing his job.”
—Rob Ford, mayor of Toronto
“[We] are promoting Toronto like no one’s promoted Toronto before…The media should ink a deal for a reality show, because they’re so unique, and it could be called The A–holes.” Read the rest of this entry »
—Doug Ford, city councillor and mayor Rob Ford’s campaign manager
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“I TOLD YOU SO, I TOLD YOU SO, I TOLD YOU SO, I TOLD YOU SO…I guess I’m not that crazy after all.”
-Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti, reacting to today’s landmark victory for the human rights of sex workers with a torrent of all-caps self congratulation. This was the actual headline of a press release issued by his office earlier today. The reason Mammo is so excited is that he has spent the past two years occasionally advocating for the conversion of the Toronto Islands—currently home to a childrens’ amusement park, a zoo and some quaint family homes—into a red-light district, where prostitution could happen away from the general populace. The gist of the rest of the press release is that city council missed the boat (ferry?) by failing to endorse the plan prior to the Supreme Court ruling. As interesting as it would be if Toronto had its very own sex archipelago, we imagine the city will get by without one.
Rob Ford has lost much of his political clout, but his sense of outrage is still very much intact. On Monday, he helped bring a city council meeting to an early end by accusing almost all of his fellow municipal politicians of being corrupt. Today, he apologized. Almost.
The weirdness started on Monday night, when council speaker Frances Nunziata tried to eject councillor Giorgio Mammoliti from the meeting for being disruptive. Mammoliti refused to leave, and even vowed to defend himself if anyone tried to roust him by force. On the video of the meeting, while all this is going on, Ford can clearly be heard saying: “The most corrupt ones can stay, right? The most corrupt ones can stay, but he has to go.” Mammoliti isn’t a particularly great anti-corruption poster boy: he’s currently under investigation by the integrity commissioner for potentially improper donations from lobbyists. Read the rest of this entry »
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The 10 most unbelievable quotes from the past 36 hours of Rob Ford insanity, from Charlie Sheen to Kathleen Wynne
Somehow, in the past two days, the situation at city hall managed to get even more surreal. Council voted en masse to urge Rob Ford to step aside. Police documents allege Ford entertained a prostitute in his office. Ford talked about oral sex on TV (including CNN, which carried it live). The mayor got his own television show. Needless to say, it’s a total zoo. Here, we round up ten quotes that drive home how outlandish Toronto politics have become.
“If council were to clearly indicate that they lack the ability to function as a result of this matter, the province would respond to a request from council to be provided new tools…I would consult with the other party leaders to see if our legislature could move unanimously if required.”
—Premier Kathleen Wynne, opening the door to intervention from the province—under certain strict conditions
“If I can be of any assistance in any capacity in this media cesspool, please accept the noble offer of my steady hand and compassionate heart.”
Even Doug Ford thinks the mayor should step down for a bit and get his life together.
That interesting choice was revealed this morning at 10:30 a.m. at city hall, where councillors voted on a motion that urges Rob Ford to “take a leave of absence to address your challenges privately, outside of the public eye.” That petition (full text below) was signed by 30 of the 44 councillors, but when it came to a vote, there were only two people in the clamshell who didn’t support it: Rob Ford and Giorgio Mammoliti—the same two that insisted that a city worker be sacked for possibly snoozing on the job. Read the rest of this entry »
Read the rest of this entry »
Oh, buddy, that’s not how I sleep.
—Rob Ford telling Toronto Sun reporter Don Peat that an Imgur picture (right) that appears to catch him sleeping on the job is, in fact, not a picture of him sleeping on the job. “I’m not sleeping,” Ford told him. “You know what this is ridiculous. This is during the 24-hour meeting when deputants are every three minutes. It is so farfetched it is not even funny.” Peat asked the mayor about the picture after Ford and councillor Giorgio Mammoliti went to the media yesterday with a different photo that reportedly shows a Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation worker snoozing while on the public dime (left). The pair threatened to fire the individual, even if he was on a break or ill. We’re sure, however, that the city worker can save his job if he just tells the mayor, “Buddy, that’s not how I sleep.”
As soon as Karen Stintz opened the Pandora’s Box of taxes to fund transit—a discussion Ford had fought to put off—last week’s council meeting turned sideways. Ford waltzed in and out of the chamber, councillors began proposing new subway routes, Giorgio Mammoliti accused 80 per cent of Finch Avenue riders of not paying their fares and Scarborough councillor Chin Lee told recalcitrant colleagues to “shut up and go home.” After more than two hours of voting, council didn’t endorse any specific taxes or fees, rejecting roughly a dozen options, and left a sales tax, development charges and a corporate tax cut rollback on the table. Ford and Stintz each tried to claim victory, while several other councillors deemed the outcome a total disaster. Below, the city’s columnists try to make sense of it all.
After more than a year of debate, Toronto’s still-hypothetical casino will soon face a crucial test. A long-awaited city staff report is in (though, unusually, it’s missing a firm yay-or-nay recommendation), and council could vote as early as next month to either kill the idea forever or invite bids from casino developers. For influential Torontonians hoping to sway the decision, now’s the last chance to come out for or against a downtown gambling den—which explains why so many have spoken up in recent days. Below, a guide to how the pro-casino and anti-casino teams stack up.
Ivy glows like a 1930s starlet. She’s 27, with high, round cheekbones, rosebud lips and luminescent skin. She has worked at three erotic massage parlours, or so-called rub ’n’ tugs, in the GTA, where female attendants offer men “sensual release,” code for a session ending in a hand job. She agreed to tell me her story on the condition that I not reveal her true identity. For her customers, Ivy puts on a breathy Marilyn Monroe voice and wears retro baby doll nighties and stilettos. She mimics her high-pitched greeting for me: “How are you? I can’t wait to get started.” Her act appeals to her clients—typically white professionals who came of age when women like Ivy appeared in every car and scotch ad. Walk-ins can choose from the half-dozen women on shift, though many men pre-book Ivy based on her photo on the spa’s website.
Although Rob Ford is calling it the “best budget in Toronto’s history,” the 2013 budget process has certainly diminished the mayor’s inner circle (which was already down one with Giorgio Mammoliti’s recent departure). Mike Del Grande resigned as budget chief yesterday after the meeting, following through on threats to quit if council added spending to the budget (they did). Del Grande railed at Ford for effectively voting against the budget that he’d worked with the mayor to prepare, saying “I thought it was a mistake…you don’t do something like that.” Meanwhile, Denzil Minnan-Wong, another executive committee member, also slammed Ford for that voting misstep, and deputy mayor Doug Holyday accused councillors of lacking “backbone” for caving to pressure and voting to allot extra money to firefighters—something Ford himself did. Heck, the mayor’s list of friends is now so short that he’s even stooping to hanging out with Adam Vaughan. [Globe and Mail]
Update: In a lunchtime interview, Del Grande told CP24 he’d return to the job if council showed him some love and unanimously voted to ask him back. He admitted, however, “the probabilities of that are next to none.”