Rob Ford: Tale of the wiretap

How bad is the Toronto Mayor’s judgment? Charlie Gillis explains

by Charlie Gillis

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

How bad is Rob Ford’s judgment? How deeply had the Toronto mayor roamed into the drug and gang underworld before it all went viral?

Consider the timeline that emerges in the latest disclosures from the Information to Obtain document filed as part of the case against Sandro Lisi.

On March 27, police listened in on a conversation between Mohamed Siad, one of the men who was trying to sell the video showing Toronto’s mayor smoking crack, and an associate named Siyadin Abdi. Siad was a key target in Project Traveller, a drugs-and-guns investigation that resulted in 44 arrests and 224 charges. “They talked about Ford going to a party and getting kicked out because he was intoxicated,” the document says, adding:

They then discussed plans to sell the tape. SIAD said “Remember that day he said that in front of me?” ABDI replied “Ya, he said I’ll give you five thousand and a car. What the f–k is that?” (Believed to be referring to an offer made by Mayor FORD). SIAD said that he was going to meet him and ask for “150″ (believed to be $150,000). ABDI said the video could be sold to both the Star and the other website. SIAD said he preferred going to Ford personally.

So here we have Ford, fully six weeks before news of the crack tape went public, trying to buy it—or so say the targets of a drug investigation wiretap. It is important to note, as Ford’s lawyer has done, that the content of these exchanges has not been tested in court.

Then, on April 20, police picked up more intriguing chatter involving Ford. It’s just before 1 a.m., and the mayor, the officers hear, is at 15 Windsor Road, home to his long-time friends the Bassos and the location where the crack video was reportedly shot.

They’re now listening in on the line of Liban Siyad, one of the men charged in the Project Traveller sweep and another member of the alleged drug gang living on Dixon Road. Siyad has been summoned to the house at the request of Elena “Princess” Basso to deliver drugs to Rob Ford, the court document says. A few hours later, according to the document, Siyad calls another associate:

SIYAD says that the Mayor of the City Rob FORD was smoking his rocks today. SIYAD advised that he was at Princess’s house and that he will put a picture up on instagram. 

Let’s recap. Sometime before March 27, the mayor spends a day at the Bassos’, during which he is filmed, as Siyad might have put it, “smoking his rocks.” This unleashes a world of misery, according to the wiretaps, including an extortion attempt that prompts Ford to make a lavish offer in hopes of getting the video back.

Yet even that isn’t enough to make him swear off the Bassos and the crack and the whole disgraceful tableau: he’s back there in the wee hours of April 20, according to the wiretap, a few hours before he’s supposed to make an official appearance at a park clean-up (astute souls will note that 4/20 is the date cannabis enthusiasts have chosen to celebrate all things pot-related).

To cap it off, Ford manages to lose his smartphone that night. It winds up in the hands of Siyad and his associates, who return it only because holding it doesn’t seem worth the trouble. The men shrug off threats to sic the police on them allegedly issued by Ford’s pal and sometime driver, Sandro Lisi:

SIYAD advises that he didn’t like being threatened and that they have a picture of Rob FORD on a pipe. The other male advises that they love and respect Rob FORD but they have Rob FORD on a lot of f–ked up situations and they don’t want to say anything.

Whether the picture ever went up on Instagram is not clear. But the wiretaps make a pretty good case that the worst fears about Ford’s extracurricular activities were well-founded: that he was indeed at the mercy of known and suspected criminals; that his judgment, such as it is, had flown out the window; that the alleged gang-bangers of northwest Toronto had the mayor cornered and, frankly, outsmarted.

Again, this all rest on police-gathered information that has not been tested in court. So far, though, the dirt dug up by the cops has held up under public scrutiny. Better, to say the least, than Rob Ford’s denials.

Fans of the mayor who say they prefer Ford on crack to any sober alternative might bear this in mind.




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Rob Ford: Tale of the wiretap

  1. Maybe Rob Ford will go to jail for 25 years then when released, turn to his captors, embrace and forgive them, then lead Etobicoke to freedom.

    • Etobi-COKE

  2. I bet Ford nation still makes excuses for him.

    • I bet if in a drunken stupor he would accidently force a school bus full of children of a bridge killing all the children he would still be Ford Nation hero.

      • And then blame the media and liberal elites for driving him to it.

    • See below. But you probably already knew that would happen.

  3. “…Folks…I have absolutely nothing left to hide…”…rob ford..Nov5/13

  4. It depends if he is charged with something, found guilty in a court of law and sentenced to jail. In the meantime: what is most important in an elected official: the personal life or the policies? Ontario Liberal ministers may be clean in their lives, but several of them wasted billions of dollars. It is obvious that the media gives them a free ride. The Liberals at Queen’s Park deleted emails, it is reported one day and then dropped. In the Senate scandal the same media pursue and pursue emails. It is obvious that some of the media, certainly CBC and the Toronto Star, have attacked Rob Ford for years. Maybe what we see is a backlash against the media bias???

    • Ford’s “policies” are no more defensible than his personal life. Take a look at objective analyses of his fiscal record. He has had some minor victories but, on the whole, his fatuous claim to have saved taxpayers a billion dollars doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. And his stubborn support for a short three-stop subway to Scarborough, rather than an already-approved and financed LRT extension, will cost millions in sunk costs alone and will, on its own, necessitate a tax hike.

      As a public policy-maker, the man is a con artist and a liar.

      • The problem is that “objective analyses” of Rob Ford is an oxymoron.Do you think the Toronto Star could write an “objective analysis”?? Not a chance. Either they hate him or defend him, as Maclean’s editorial says. I do believe that he has helped keeping spending down. And what about the Ontario Liberal eHealth, ORNG,, cancelled power plants, etc. – any objective analysis on those issues?

        • Analyses/opinions of Ford’s record have been offered up by several Toronto media, by the councilor who oversees city budgets, and by the the city’s senior civil servant, all essentially confirming that Ford has padded his claims. You’d take Ford’s preposterous self-serving statements over all/any of theirs?

          What does the provincial Liberals’ record have to do with this?

          • One could hope that a person who uses expressions like “objective” and “fiscal record”, also showed a minimum of interest in the scandals and money-waste in the provincial government??? Maybe not? Or even be inclined, on the basis of objectivity, to offer up concerns about the troubles that the Liberal mayor of London, ON finds himself in? But no. Both are wrong! The Toronto media and your comments manifest bias, leaning only one way. That is the link – if you are concerned with fiscal records.

          • I am, of course, aware of the scandals of other public servants and governments but the question remains, how are they remotely relevant to this blog and/or comment board? Shall we just wander around the political landscape discussing alleged transgressions willy-nilly or simply try staying on topic?

          • C’mon. It’s obvious. Jack Layton’s happy ending in the e-health gas plants and Ornge wind turbines! So, duh, Rob Ford is a regular guy being bullied by Pravda for saving taxpayers’ money. Hope that clears things up!

          • All true, and moreso once it’s finally proven that Obama was born in Kenya and is Idi Amin’s lost nephew.

        • Where’s Dalton?

    • Do you know who Jane Creba and Ephraim Brown are?
      They are innocent children who were killed when caught in the crossfire of gangs shooting at one another in Toronto.
      Just for one second, I’d like you to put yourself in the place of their parents and families. For just one second, think about a life lost so young.

      Now. Think about how they must feel when the mayor of Toronto parties and hangs with gang members.

      Now do you get it?

      How low do you want to set the bar?

      • No, I do not know these people and my sympathies go out to their families, especially at this time of the year. If you think you can pin the blame on Rob Ford for what happened to them, then there is not much I can do about that. Maybe the criminals were out on parole, or illegally in the country?
        Anyway, you come with an emotional argument. What about a single mother with 4 children, father left them and gives them no support? Taxes go up and up, and now the increase in the hydro bill will force her to lose her home, is considering giving up two of the children to foster care and don’t know what to do? Will you in spite of this continue to vote Liberal?
        “Now do you get it?” That is an emotional argument, and though very serious for them – not rational for the rest of us.
        Rob Ford clearly is a buffoon, and has bad habits and keeps very bad company. His time came when the left had ruled in a way – real or perceived – that “regular” tax payers did not like. He is first and foremost responsible for himself, but the David Miller regime and the left wing councillors set the stage for his win. Remember that too.

        • “No, I do not know these people…”
          Hint: Try Google.
          Pickengrin is not saying their deaths have anything to do with Rob Ford. BUT he IS saying that one has to be a fool to support someone whose private life includes partying with people like the ones who DID kill them, and letting them get blackmail material on them.
          As to raising taxes – Ford’s subway proposal will do exactly that.

          • But you have nothing against Justin Trudeau smoking weed with people who obviously have connections to organized crime? How can you square that circle?

          • Seriously Rick? That’s a stretch even for you. You’re starting to make Francien’s obsession with JT look small-time… Guess his popularity is really getting under your skin. I’m still trying to make up my mind about him, but the way he makes you and FV froth at the mouth is a definite plus.

        • Rob Ford is now one of them (hanging with thugs), you goof.. still don’t get it??

        • What kind of money is Rob Ford saving a single mother living in a rental unit with barely enough money to by her hydro bill? She is unlikely to benefit from the elimination of parking tax. Was she planning to buy a house with the money saved on land transfer tax? Does she save on property tax due to cheaper garbage pick-up? When the price of transit goes up to pay for 3 ghost stations in Scarborough will she be saving more money? She won’t have to bother so much with taking her kids to libraries and public pools though since Ford cut their funding.
          Maybe he made a deal to cut the price of crack then because I can’t see what else you might have in common with Rob Fords agenda.

          • How much damage is Kathleen Wynne doing to that same single mother by implementing energy policies that will result in her hydro bill going up by 50% over the next few years? All in an effort to ensure that Liberals were re-elected.

            I’m guessing she’d take a crack smoking mayor who doesn’t actively steal from her over a corrupt Liberal any day.

  5. rob ford has givin canada a bat image. most of the eu contries laugh about our politics anyway, so what mor can a fat snorting guy do to our image. please somebody take him away from the public and stop givin him star times

  6. Toronto’s CHEAP media, just like national enquirer -( .a.k.a. Hollywood gossip) at it again!
    Toronto now has the reputation of being a SORE LOSER city thanks to MEDIA MAGGOTS

  7. why can’t we ship him of to the north pole and work and the ice

  8. we are wasting our time with same cr….p where we should try to help other people. have we not learned that the politians do what they want anyhow. this is been going on for years, but thanks to the social network we (the people) finally find out about the b……sh
    some do. remember the song from les mis – do you hear the people

  9. Liberal mayor Joe Fontana steals $8M from a charity he was involved with…. zero mention in the media. Sometimes-Conservative mayor Rob Ford smokes a bit of crack in his personal time….. EPIC SCANDAL. Ontario needs more Rob Ford’s and fewer Kathleen Wynne/Joe Fontana/Justin Trudeau types.

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