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Rob Ford's widow sues Doug Ford, Randy Ford and family businesses
Joshua Freeman, CP24.com
Published Monday, June 4, 2018 8:55PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, June 4, 2018 11:46PM EDT
The widow of former Toronto mayor Rob Ford is suing members of his family, including brother Doug Ford, for $15 million, alleging that they mismanaged family assets and Rob Ford’s estate.
The lawsuit was filed in Ontario Superior Court on Friday on behalf of Renata Ford and her two children.
It claims that the children’s uncle, current Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford, is in breach of trust in his capacity as the trustee of his late brother’s affairs.
It also claims that both Doug Ford and his surviving brother, Randy Ford, are in breach of trust as trustees to the estate of their late father, Doug Ford Senior and in their capacity as directors and officers of their family businesses, The Deco Companies.
The suit is seeking $5 million for each of the three plaintiffs, as well as $750,000 in punitive damages, and legal costs.
None of the allegations have been proven in court.
In the suit, Renata Ford claims that Doug Ford approached her after Rob Ford died of cancer in 2014 and suggested first that they settle the estate without any lawyers, then that she sell him her shares to avoid “stress.” She refused both suggestions, the suit says, and was never handed a full accounting of her late husband’s assets.
The suit goes on to paint a picture of alleged gross mismanagement at the family businesses by Doug and Randy Ford, alleging the pair has “negligently and improperly mismanaged them as to destroy their value” and “improperly … arranged for infusions of funds from Doug Sr.'s Estate.”
All this, according to the claim, while Doug and Randy arranged extravagant salaries for themselves, as well as bonuses, travel, automobile allowances and other benefits for themselves and friends.
While an investment portfolio left by Doug Ford Senior was worth $15 million to $20 million in 2007, the suit now estimates that it is worth around just $3 million to $4 million.
The suit also claims that Randy and Doug Ford reorganized the companies to shut out Rob’s family from any future profits.
In a written statement Monday, Doug Ford strongly denied the allegations laid out in the suit and said Renata Ford has used his current quest to become Ontario premier as leverage to try and force a payout.
“These claims relating to Deco are completely false and we will strongly refute them in court,” he said in the statement. “I have also stood by my brother and his family through so many of their challenging times, and will always be there for Stephanie and Dougie.
“Renata’s lawyers have been clear to us throughout this campaign, that either we hand over money, or they would go public with these false claims, and that is exactly what they have done, with three days to go until the election.”
Diane Ford, the matriarch of the Ford family, also released a statement denying the allegations Monday.
“It is heartbreaking that Renata has chosen to bring forward these false and baseless allegations against our family, right in the middle of the provincial election campaign,” she said. “As a family, our one goal is to ensure Rob’s children are cared for and their financial futures are secure.”