Rob Ford’s friend offered pot for missing phone, report says
Alessandro Lisi said to be involved in attempt to get phone back
A newly published report says that Toronto Mayor Rob Ford lost his cellphone earlier this year.
His friend Alessandro Lisi attempted to get back the phone that is believed to belong to Ford, by allegedly offering to swap marijuana for it.
The Toronto Star published the report saying that Ford’s cellphone went missing in March and it was subsequently returned to the mayor.
According to the Star, police would eventually learn that Lisi, a friend and occasional driver for the mayor, was involved in efforts to get a phone belonging to “an associate” back.
The associate is not named in the police document cited by the Star.
The Star report says that Lisi allegedly offered what is described in the police document as a “payment of marijuana,” in exchange for the phone of his associate. But the report says it is unclear whether this effort helped get the phone back.
Lisi was recently arrested by Toronto police and charged with several drug-related offences, along with a second man, Jamshid Bahrami.
Hours after Lisi’s arrest, Ford said he was "shocked" to learn that his friend was facing drug charges.
The mayor spoke to the media about Lisi’s arrest shortly before he left the city for a scheduled trip to Austin, Texas.
CBC News was not immediately able to reach the mayor for comment about the report about his missing cellphone on Monday evening.
Mark Pugash, the director of corporate communications for Toronto police, could not immediately be reached for comment either.
The investigation that led to charges against Lisi and Bahrami was led by Det.-Sgt. Gary Giroux, a prominent member of the Toronto police homicide squad.
CBC News has previously reported that the investigation into the two men was a spinoff from Project Traveller, a police investigation that targeted west-end gangs and culminated in a series of raids and arrests in the spring.
Ford has faced several months of intensive media scrutiny after reports by the Toronto Star and the U.S. gossip website Gawker said that someone had been shopping a video that appeared to show the mayor using crack cocaine.
The mayor denied both the video’s existence and using crack cocaine.
The Star has previously reported that Lisi had been searching for the video.
Ford, 44, was elected as mayor three years ago. He previously served as a city councillor for a ward in the Toronto suburb of Etobicoke.