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Ford's apology to Toronto Star reporter

TORONTO - Text of Mayor Rob Ford's apology to Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale issued on Wednesday night:

"Further to my public apology to Daniel Dale yesterday, I want to be as clear as possible with respect to the extent of the apology and ensure that it addresses Mr. Dale's concerns about comments which aired during my interview with Conrad Black on ZoomerMedia.

"An incident involving Mr. Dale occurred near my residence in May 2012, more than 1 1/2 years ago.

"In my interview with Mr. Black, I recounted that I caught the individual, 'on the bricks, over the fence, taking pictures' and that he 'dropped his phone, dropped his camera and everything.' Also I stated 'it was on my property, on the fence. And he had cinderblocks that he had to step on to get over the fence. And he started taking pictures.'

"This recollection of the incident is inaccurate in that I never saw Mr. Dale standing on bricks or cinderblocks, never saw Mr. Dale looking over my fence and never saw Mr. Dale taking any pictures. There is no basis for saying as I did on December 17 and in the past that Mr. Dale was 'lurking' or 'leering' near or over my fence or behaving surreptitiously and I should not have said that. In the interview with Mr. Black I was recounting what I had initially been told by a neighbour. There was a police investigation at the time and no charges were laid against Mr. Dale, who I understand told police that he never stood on cinderblocks, never looked over my fence and never took photographs of my backyard. There was no basis for me to say that Mr. Dale was ever in my backyard or on my property and I should not have said that. Accordingly, I apologize to Mr. Dale for the inaccurate manner in which I described the incident of May 2012.

"With respect to my recollection that Mr. Dale at the time of the incident dropped his phone, dropped his camera and everything. I apologize to Mr. Dale for the impression that these words suggest Mr. Dale was at the time carrying a separate camera. Mr. Dale was carrying a cell phone, with photograph capabilities, and this is what I meant during my conversation with Mr. Black. I am unaware of any pictures Mr. Dale took with his phone of land near my property, and therefore I apologize to Mr. Dale if the words I spoke to Mr. Black left the impression that Mr. Dale had taken photographs of my backyard. I understand from Mr. Dale that while he had attempted to take a photograph of land adjacent to my actual property, the battery power on his phone died at the time of taking a photograph and therefore no photograph of adjacent land was ever saved onto the phone. Accordingly, I once again apologize to Mr. Dale for the imprecise and inaccurate manner in which I described the events which followed our encounter in May 2012.

"Finally there was absolutely no basis for the statement I made about Mr. Dale taking pictures of children, or for any insinuations I made. I should not have said what I did and I wholly retract my statements and apologize to Mr. Dale without reservation for what I said.

"I sincerely hope that Mr. Dale will accept my personal apology for my comments and all harm my words may have caused him."

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