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Pardon his French: Giambrone under fire for taxpayer-funded language lessons

Coun. Adam Giambrone continued taking private French lessons at taxpayers’ expense months after announcing he is quitting municipal politics.

Coun. Adam Giambrone continued taking private French lessons at taxpayers’ expense months after announcing he is quitting municipal politics.

Councillors’ office expenses for the first nine months of 2010 show that Giambrone submitted a Feb. 26 bill from Alliance Française school for $2,299.50, and, another dated June 4, for another $2,299.50.

Giambrone (Ward 18, Davenport) quit his short-lived mayoral campaign in February and announced on April 12 he would not seek re-election to council.

Although Giambrone’s seat was won by Ana Bailão in the Oct. 25 election, he officially remains in office until Nov. 30. The TTC chair, an archaeologist by trade, said in April he planned to take a breather from public office and return in two or three years to run provincially or federally.

Giambrone started French lessons in 2008, spending $4,000 and the $2,299.50 the following year. He rebutted criticism by noting he’s Toronto’s representative to an association of French municipalities in Ontario, and does interviews with Francophone media.

Doug Holyday, an ally of mayor-elect Rob Ford and longtime critic of the office budget spending, said Giambrone never should have expensed French lessons, but especially not after he knew any value to taxpayers would soon be lost.


“Certainly he’s being totally unfair and I’m sure he’s aware of it,” said Holyday (Ward 3, Etobicoke Centre).

Giambrone has not replied to the Toronto Star’s requests for comment.

 
 
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