Rob Ford documents detail more alleged drug, alcohol abuse
Order issued for documents' release effectively removes redactions
Toronto police say in court documents that city staffers told them Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoked marijuana in front of them, used Oxycontin, hung around with a suspected prostitute, drove after drinking, and had city staff regularly deliver alcohol to him, according to search warrant information made public Wednesday.
A young blond woman described as attractive and named Alana accompanied the mayor to the Bier Markt on March 17, 2012, the document says, citing an interview with Isaac Ransom, the mayor's former deputy press secretary.
Ransom told police he believed she was a professional escort who knew Ford well. There are rumours Ford used prostitutes or escorts, the document says.
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The revelations come from previously redacted sections of documents police used to acquire a search warrant for Alexander (Sandro) Lisi, Ford's friend and occasional driver, who is now facing drug charges and an extortion charge.
Ford refused to comment Wednesday, telling reporters to "be very careful on what you write."
The new information, which has not been proven in court, comes from police interviews with Ford staffers that were blacked out when the Lisi search warrant information was first made public on Oct. 30.
Ontario Superior Court Justice Ian Nordheimer on Wednesday ordered the release of more information from those documents, which include police interviews with Ford staffers.
The documents paint a picture of a man whose behaviour concerned some staffers, though other staffers interviewed also told police they did not see the mayor behaving inappropriately.
In the information, police say people they interviewed said Ford drank in his city hall office, showed up drunk at public events and used other drugs, including marijuana and Oxycontin, a prescription painkiller.
Police also say staffers told them that in addition to buying alcohol for the mayor, they were asked to perform personal errands, such as changing light bulbs or replacing the batteries in his children's toys.
Among the most revealing police interviews is a conversation police had with Mark Towhey, Ford's former chief of staff who was fired on May 28, one week after stories about the alleged crack video broke.
Police say Towhey told them he believes Ford is an alcoholic who drank at city hall. Investigators say Towhey told them he implored the mayor to get treatment when stories about the crack video first surfaced in mid-May.
The document also cites Towhey's description of his interaction with the mayor at the Garrison Ball.
The mayor was running two and a half hours late. According to police, Towhey told Ford not to attend because he was so late and incoherent when they spoke on the phone. Towhey told the mayor if he attended the event, his career as a politician would be over, police say
Ford went to the ball anyway. He needed physical help getting into the building. He was flustered, agitated and flushed, and was with his two children — both dressed in black tie, according to the police document.
Towhey says he tried to physically prevent the mayor from going in, the document says, adding that the former chief of staff says the mayor was definitely intoxicated, but did not smell any alcohol on him. He was difficult to understand, the document says.
Police also said Towhey maintained he was fired by Ford after trying to stop city staff from organizing a pizza party for the Don Bosco high school football team that Ford coached.
Other potential explosive information in the documents involves the night of March 17, 2012, when Ford and an entourage arrived at the Bier Markt bar to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.
The police say a waiter told them he saw Ford and a woman with their backs to him and their heads down trying to conceal what they were doing. Police say the waiter told them he heard them take two sniffs.
However another person working at the bar that night told police he did not see the mayor use cocaine.
Police say in the documents one former staffer told them the mayor smoked marijuana in front of him. The same staffer said Ford asked staff to pick up alcohol for him up to 10 times a month, according to police.
Investigators say former staffer Chris Fickel told them he was driving in Ford's car when the mayor pulled over and drank a mickey of vodka along with Gatorade in about two minutes.
Police said Fickel told them he asked to be let out at the next corner and he and another staffer in the car took a bus to where their car was parked.
Some parts of the material remain blacked out and there will be further legal arguments about releasing it in the weeks ahead.
None of the allegations has been proven. They are the information investigators presented to a judge to obtain search warrants.