Toronto Mayor Rob Ford set to testify in $6M defamation lawsuit

TORONTO – Toronto’s mayor is expected to take the stand in court today in a $6-million defamation lawsuit against him.

Restaurant owner George Foulidis is alleging Rob Ford libelled him when the mayor suggested the restaurant’s leasing deal with the city was corrupt.

Foulidis believes Ford defamed him by telling a Toronto newspaper the deal “stinks to high heaven.”

Toronto city council extended a lease Foulidis had for his Boardwalk Cafe restaurant on public land in a sole-sourced, untendered contract in the summer of 2010 — the middle of Ford’s ultimately successful campaign to become mayor.

Ford’s lawyer is arguing that the mayor was talking about Foulidis’ business, Tuggs Inc., and that companies can’t be defamed.

The mayor has suggested the lawsuit is politically motivated.