October 31, 2013

Toronto police say they have mayor drug video

An alleged video appearing to show the mayor of Canada’s largest city using crack cocaine triggered a massive surveillance operation and investigation that has led to the arrest of a close friend of the mayor.

By Rob Gillies
The Associated Press

(Continued from page 1)

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Toronto Mayor Rob Ford tells to the media to get off his property as he leaves his home in Toronto on Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013. A judge on Wednesday ordered the release of police documents in the drug case against a friend of Ford. Peter Jacobsen, a lawyer for various Canadian news organizations that pushed to release the records, said the case against Alexander Lisi involves the mayor. (AP Photo/, Nathan Denette)

click image to enlarge

These annotated video frame grab images provided by the Toronto Police Service on Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013, show Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, left, and his close friend, Alexander Lisi. Police say they rummaged through Ford's garbage and conducted a massive surveillance operation monitoring him and Lisi following drug use allegations. The marks seen on the images were drawn by the police.

AP Photo/Toronto Police Service via The Canadian Press

Another dated July 28 says Lisi "constantly used counter surveillance techniques" when he met with Ford that day.

On August 13 documents say Lisi and Ford met and "made their way into a secluded area of the adjacent woods where they were obscured from surveillance efforts and stayed for approximately one hour."

Ford recently vouched for Lisi in a separate criminal case, praising his leadership skills and hard work in a letter filed with the court. The letter was part of a report prepared by a probation officer after Lisi was convicted of threatening to kill a woman.

Ford said previously that he was shocked when Lisi was arrested earlier this month, calling him a "good guy" and saying he doesn't abandon his friends.

The documents also say that Ford met Lisi through Payman Aboodowleh, a volunteer football coach at Don Bosco Catholic Secondary School, where Ford coached the team while also serving as mayor. He told police he was "mad at Lisi because he was fuelling the mayor's drug abuse," the document says.

Ford's controversies range from the trivial to the serious: Walking face-first into a TV camera. Falling down during a photo op while pretending to play football. Being asked to leave an event for wounded war vets because he appeared intoxicated, according to the Toronto Star. Being forced to admit he was busted for marijuana possession in Florida in 1999, after repeated denials. Making rude gestures at Torontonians from his car.

Ford was fired earlier this year from his beloved volunteer job coaching football over disparaging remarks he made to a TV network about parents and their kids at the school.

"The mayor has said there wasn't a video," Toronto councilor Paula Fletcher said. "He has said there is a conspiracy against him. With Chief's Blair's press conference I think that's put to rest."

 

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