Sandro Lisi, friend of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, in court on extortion charge

TORONTO – A friend and occasional driver for Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is due in court today to face an extortion charge related to allegations of a video appearing to show Ford smoking crack cocaine.

Alexander Lisi, 35, was arrested on Thursday, the same day police Chief Bill Blair said investigators have uncovered what appears to be the alleged video.

Court documents released Thursday show police opened an investigation into the allegations surrounding the video, headed by a senior detective.

Lisi was charged last month with four drug offences.

Blair said as a result of discovering the video, Lisi is now also charged with extortion and the video will be presented in that case in court.

Ford told reporters at City Hall that he could not comment because the matter is before the courts. He also said there was no reason for him to resign.

Reporters from two media outlets viewed the alleged video and say it appears Ford is smoking crack.

In the past Ford has insisted he doesn’t use drugs and said the video doesn’t exist.

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