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article imageFormer staff of Toronto mayor spoken to by cops re: crack video

By Marcus Hondro     Aug 17, 2013 in Crime
Toronto - Five former members of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's staff have been questioned by police about Ford's attempts to obtain a video in which he allegedly smokes crack cocaine. Patrick White of the Globe said the information comes from connected "sources."
The alleged video came to be in the public realm in the Spring when John Cook, editor of an American online publication called Gawker, reported being shown it by a man who may have had ties to the drug trade. Mr. Cook said he was told he could buy it but though he raised some $200,000, he was not again contacted and could not buy it; the money he collected will go to charity.
Only days later, on May 3rd, it was again shown, reportedly by the same Somali-Canadian male, to two Toronto Star reporters, who wrote they were certain it was Mayor Ford in the video and that he was making homophobic and racists remarks and appeared to be using drugs. In June CTV News reported that Toronto police knew of the existence of the video even before Gawker and the Star. CTV said police learned of the video from wiretaps, though who was being wiretapped wasn`t revealed.
Ford staffer David Price sought video
It appears that after news of the existence of the video surfaced, David Price, Ford family friend and Ford staffer (he was suspended in June for a phony phone call to Ford`s radio show) made inquiries about locating it. His efforts were aided by Alessandro `Sandro`Lisi, a man now frequently seen with Ford and who drives him to events, though he's not a part of Ford's staff. Mr. Lisi has been charged with offences in the recent past, including threatening to kill a woman, assault and threatening to hurt a woman.
Mr. Price learned of an address where the video was believed to be and he told then-Ford Chief of Staff Mark Towhey. He also told Mr. Towhey that one of the young men in the video had been shot and the tape may be part of an investigation into the killing. Anthony Smith, 21, was reportedly in the video with Mayor Ford and stood next to the mayor in a photo given to the Star reporters by the man who showed them the video. Smith was shot dead on March 28 in a drug-related killing.
According to the Globe and Mail, Mr. Towhey then told Mr. Price that as the video looked to be part of a police investigation that he, Mr. Price, should stop searching for it. Mr. Towhey then contacted police about the whereabouts of the video and days later he was fired by Ford. He is no longer connected to the mayor`s office.
Ford drug video: Toronto police not commenting
During all of this drama about an alleged video there has been a rash of resignations and firings from Ford`s office and it is unclear which five former staffers have recently been questioned by police about Ford attempts to get the video. However, it seems likely that Mr. Towhey is one of them.
Also connected to this story is a police operation called Project Traveler that culminated in a raid of homes in Toronto and the Windsor area on June 13. Toronto police made dozens of drug-related arrests and one of the homes raided, in an apartment building at 320 Dixon Rd., is thought to have been where the video had been kept.
Toronto police refuse to say whether they have a video of the type described by Gawker and the Toronto Star. They have not commented on why they are questioning former Ford staffers, either, nor have they said if the mayor is likely to be charged with an offence.
Ford denies such a video exists and says he does not smoke crack cocaine.
More about Rob Ford, rob ford crack video, toronto police question former ford staffers, toronto mayor rob ford, ford crack video investigation
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