The restaurateur family caught in the middle of a divisive election issue says it is being exploited for political gain and has initiated legal action against front-runner Rob Ford.

George Foulidis, owner of Tuggs Inc., has accused Ford of insinuating he bribed local Coun. Sandra Bussin so she would help his family secure a 20-year exclusive vending rights contract in the Eastern Beaches.

Often using the Tuggs deal as exhibit A, Ford has propelled his campaign into the lead with promises to end the wasteful spending and backroom deals at city hall.