The remaining portions of a document outlining the police investigation into Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and his associate, Alexander Lisi, could be released as soon as Friday, Dec. 6.
The document was part of an investigation police used to arrest Ford’s friend and occasional driver Lisi on Oct. 31. Lisi has been charged with extortion in connection to the alleged video that shows the mayor smoking crack cocaine. Lisi was also charged with trafficking marijuana.
The document, the contents of which have yet to be proven in court, will not be released until, at the earliest, Friday, Dec. 6 at 4:30 p.m., a judge decided Wednesday. This allows the Crown time to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court if it chooses to do so, writes the Toronto Star, which is one member of a group of media organizations that has been arguing in court to have the documents released in full.
“It cannot be denied that the actions of the mayor are a matter of very significant public interest and concern at this time, as are the actions of police in relation to them,” Ontario Superior Court Justice Ian Nordheimer wrote in his decision.
“We are dealing with the actions of the duly elected mayor of the country’s largest city and the extensive investigation undertaken by police…In terms of legal proceedings, it is hard to conceive of a matter that would be of more importance to the public interest.”
Parts of the same document that has already been released to the public show police watched Ford and Lisi over a period of several months. The police reports say that officers saw the pair drinking from vodka bottles in a public park, and exchanging envelopes and plastic bags on multiple occasions. The contents of those packages are not known.
More of the document was released on Nov 13. That part contained information about interviews with members of the mayor’s staff, who alleged that the mayor made lewd sexual comments to a female city staff member, may have consorted with prostitutes and drove drunk. None of those allegations have been proven in court, either.
This latest release is expected to contain wiretaps of phone conversations between the mayor and Lisi.
Until then, business at Toronto City Hall continues. Last week, councillors voted to remove many of the mayor’s powers, and a good chunk of his office budget. Now, Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly, a fiscal conservative and one-time Ford ally, is overseeing the creation of the next city budget.
Coun. Doug Ford, the mayor’s brother, isn’t too happy about the most recent turn of events.”If it was between being the media darling and getting an endorsement from the Toronto Star or making tough decisions, [Mr. Kelly will] go with the endorsement from the Toronto Star,” Doug Ford told a reporter from the National Post. “I used to respect Norm Kelly. I have zero respect for him right now.”
With files from the Canadian Press