Toronto Mayor Rob Ford says the person responsible for the city’s decision to pay almost $75,000 on chairs “is no longer with the city.”
Speaking to media this afternoon, Ford wouldn’t identify the staffer and refused to say whether the person was fired or resigned.
He also would not clarify whether the staffer’s departure was related to the purchase of the chairs, but said “there’s a series of issues going on.”
Ford said he was upset at the decision to spend almost $75,000 to replace 30 chairs in the members’ lounge at city hall.
“We can’t tolerate this,” he said. “I can assure you it wont happen again. To spend $25,000 on these heritage chairs is insane.”
The Toronto Taxpayers’ Coalition also expressed its anger about the chair purchase.
“This is completely unacceptable,” said coalition spokesman Matthew McGuire. “Why is the city playing musical chairs with taxpayers’ money? Surely, the city of Toronto can find a better deal on 30 chairs than $75,000. This is exactly what voters wanted to stop in the last election.”
City officials say the chairs were old and needed to be replaced. Ford, who ran on a platform of fiscal restraint, said he sat in them recently and doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with them.
The mayor also said he was meeting with city officials to see if the new chairs can be returned.