What's in the Alexander Lisi police document
Friend of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford now faces extortion charge, as well as drug charges
A police document with information related to the drug case against Alexander “Sandro” Lisi makes a number of allegations concerning his relationship with Rob Ford, and the investigation into an alleged crack video involving the Toronto mayor.
A portion of the nearly 500-page police document was released Thursday morning, following an order by an Ontario Superior Court judge.
Media lawyers, including a member of the CBC’s legal counsel, had argued the document contains information that is in the public interest. About 300 pages from the document were released. Another 170 pages deemed too sensitive are redacted, though media lawyers will be challenging that in submissions to be made on Nov. 8.
Lisi, described by Ford as a friend and a "good guy," was arrested earlier this month at a strip mall, and charged with possession and trafficking of marijuana, conspiracy to commit an indictable offence and possession of the proceeds of crime. On Thursday, it was learned Lisi has also now been charged with extortion.
The unredacted portion of the document reveals new details about the police investigation, and contains allegations about both Ford and Lisi that have not been proven in court:
The investigation began on May 18, 2013, when an experienced detective was assigned to probe media reports of an alleged video showing the mayor smoking crack cocaine. The allegations surfaced when reporters from the Toronto Star and the U.S. website Gawker said they were shown the video. Ford has denied that such a video exists.
The document says police compared a photograph that appeared alongside the media reports to one that a confidential informant told police was a "crack house," and found it had the same colour, overhanging light, white trim, brick colour and pattern. Hours after the Gawker article was published, phone records show Lisi called Mohamed Siad, who the police report says "is believed to have been one of the people trying to sell Mayor Ford crack video." He also called one of the residents of the "crack house" several times.
On July 11, Ford is seen on surveillance cameras parking at a gas station then walking straight to the washroom. Shortly after, Lisi arrives at the gas station. Lisi is seen walking near the mayor's SUV holding a manila envelope. "Lisi appears to be looking around, possibly scoping out the area," the document says. Lisi is then seen walking along the passenger side of the mayor's vehicle then goes out of the surveillance tape frame. Ford spends about six minutes in the washroom then buys a pack of gum and drives away.
Police interviewed Chris Fickel, a former special assistant in Ford’s office, on June 28. Fickel said he believes Lisi may have been supplying Ford with marijuana and possibly cocaine.
Payman Aboodowleh, a volunteer with the football team that Ford used to coach at Don Bosco Catholic Secondary School, said he was angry at Lisi because he believed he was fuelling the mayor’s drug abuse.
Allegations arose in another police interview that Lisi “would drive the mayor to ‘hot spots’ and facilitate getting drugs for the mayor.”
On July 28, police were conducting surveillance of Lisi when he met with Ford in a schoolyard in Toronto’s west end. Police retrieved trash that Ford and Lisi had deposited into a receptacle there. Ford’s garbage was “believed to be two empty vodka bottles,” the document says.
With files from The Canadian Press