Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has been issued a subpoena to testify in an extortion case involving his friend and former driver Alexander (Sandro) Lisi.

Ford's lawyer, Dennis Morris, confirmed Friday that the mayor was served with the subpoena on Aug. 26.

Lisi is charged with extortion for what police have said are his efforts to recover a video recording that appears to show the mayor smoking crack cocaine.

Lisi is also charged with:

  • Trafficking in marijuana.
  • Possession of the proceeds of crime.
  • Possession of marijuana.
  • Conspiracy to commit an indictable offence.

A preliminary inquiry, which is held to determine if there is enough evidence to go to trial, is set for March of next year.


Sandro Lisi, a friend and occasional driver to Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, is charged with possession and trafficking of marijuana, conspiracy to commit an indictable offence and possession of the proceeds of crime. (Dale Brazao/Toronto Star)

Reporters asked Ford about the subpoena Friday, as he toured a new aquatic centre for next summer's Pan-Am Games.

Ford referred all questions to his lawyer, Dennis Morris.

"Everything now is before the courts, I suggest you go talk to Mr. Morris," he said.

News of Ford's subpoena comes just as his re-election campaign reaches a crucial stage ahead of the Oct. 27 vote.

Ford spent two months in a rehab facility earlier this summer and has said his days of abusing drugs and alcohol are over.

Reports of Ford's subpoena in the Lisi extortion case began to surface weeks ago.

His brother and campaign manager, Coun. Doug Ford, accused police Chief Bill Blair of leaking information about the subpoena to the media. Doug Ford later retracted that statement after Blair threatened legal action.