TORONTO – Friends and former staffers of Rob Ford were concerned that a man who was later arrested on drug charges was “fuelling” the Toronto mayor’s alleged drug use, says a police document released Thursday.
An overview of a police investigation contained in the document says that an experienced detective was assigned to look into allegations that a video showed Ford smoking crack cocaine.
The lengthy document details evidence police collected in order to get a search warrant for Ford’s friend and occasional driver Alexander Lisi.
Ford former staffer, Chris Fickel, told police he didn’t know where Ford got marijuana from, but “has heard that ‘Sandro’ may be the person who provides the mayor with marijuana and possibly cocaine,” the document alleges.
However, Fickel added, he has never seen Lisi provide the mayor with drugs. The mayor would call Fickle and tell him to tell “Sandro” that “I need to see him,” Fickle told police.
Payman Aboodowleh, a volunteer football coach at Don Bosco Catholic Secondary School, where Ford coached the team, told police that Lisi met Ford through him. He told police he was “mad at Lisi because he was fuelling the mayor’s drug abuse,” the document says.
Ford has repeatedly said he does not use crack cocaine and that the alleged video does not exist. None of the allegations in the document has been proven in court.
The crack video allegations surfaced in May when reporters from the Toronto Star and the U.S. website Gawker reported they were shown the video.
The Star also published a photograph of the mayor with three men, one of whom — Anthony Smith — was gunned down on a city street. The other two men in the photo, which was taken in front of a house, were arrested as part of “Project Traveller.”
The document says police compared that photograph to an address that a confidential informant told police was a “crack house,” and found it had the same colour, overhanging light, white trim, brick colour and pattern.
According to the document, police were conducting surveillance on Lisi and on June 26 saw him meet with Ford at a soccer field.
They spoke for a few minutes then Lisi returned to his vehicle, retrieved a white plastic bag appearing to contain some items, put some cans of Minute Maid in it, then Lisi put the bag in Ford’s SUV, then walked back to meet up with Ford, the documents allege.
An Ontario Superior Court judge ordered the release of the document Wednesday following an application by media lawyers who argued it contains information that is in the public interest.