Last night, Global TV inteviewed an unidentified man who claimed to be a former employee of FD Element.
In the broadcast, he alleged that Mayor Gregor Robertson's chief of staff, Mike Magee, orchestrated a campaign to discredit critics of his boss.
According to the report, a company that has received untendered contracts from the mayor's office, FD Element, paid for the creation of a Web site called civicscene.
The man behind the Web site, Jonathan Ross, is a former Vision Vancouver campaign operative and has frequently attacked journalists and politicians on civicscene.
(Full disclosure: I've been the target of several of Ross's posts, including this one, entitled An absolutely classless piece of journalism by Charlie Smith.)
The unnamed employee claimed that Magee directed the content through a private e-mail account. Ross, however, has claimed on his Web site that he wasn't a paid hatchet man and that he did this work in his free time for no pay.
The mayor's office informed the Straight that Magee is unavailable for comment this morning because he's "in transit" returning from China.
FD Element has distributed the following statment to the media: "As a matter of policy we do not discuss the details of client engagements, but we feel compelled to set the record straight with the facts. FD Element did not pay Jonathan Ross to write for his blog, civicscence.ca, nor were we directed to do so by the Mayor’s office. Jonathan Ross and TDH were subcontractors for unrelated client engagements. As we have noted previously, this work was completely separate from our work with the City of Vancouver, including the Mayor’s office."