Crean deserves better from right wing councillors
The vicious character assassination of city ombudsman Fiona Crean by the right wing of Toronto city council is appalling, but comes as no surprise.
Crean spent much of Thursday defending a report in which she found that the public appointments process for members of city agencies and boards was compromised by political meddling, mostly from Mayor Rob Ford’s office.
Right wing councillors have been slagging her since the report was released, with Ford’s fair weather collaborator, George Mammoliti, leading the charge by accusing Crean of having political motives.
Crean calmly withstood attacks at council Thursday from Mammoliti and Councillors Doug Ford, Frances Nunziata and Michelle Berardinetti, among others, who tried to bait her by saying she has an ulterior motive.
She is too savvy and polished to be drawn into a brawl by councillors bent on discrediting her, just like she is too smart to release a report based on anything other than objective findings.
I first met Crean soon after she was appointed ombudsman and have since dealt with her several times. My observation is that she is a consummate professional bureaucrat, who does her job without fear or favour.
Crean had to know she would come under attack from the mayor’s supporters. She could easily have tempered her conclusions to suit those who would be embarrassed by them and are in a position to mess with her career, but did not.
That takes courage.
But the right managed to twist her findings into an indictment of her motivations, based on nothing more than outrage at being exposed for their approach to the appointments process.
“It feels like we are under fire for no reason,” sniffed Councillor Jaye Robinson.
Crean provided substantial evidence to support her findings, but Ford’s supporters offered nothing to back up their claim that she is biased, other than huffing and puffing.
The Star recently reported on a wave of senior managers who left the employ of the city under Ford’s administration.
Crean might be able to tell us why, but that’s not how she operates. She is too cool for that, and we are all the better for it.