MAYOR FORD STAYS ON MESSAGE IN AUSTIN, WHILE SECOND MAN CAUGHT UP IN DRUG ARRESTS SAYS HE'S INNOCENT

Oct 04, 2013

By Jane Brown

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Toronto’s Mayor has refused to answer questions on his official trip to Texas about his relationship with a friend who was arrested Tuesday on drug charges. Rob Ford instead insisted yesterday on talking about transit and the music industry, which is the main reason behind his visit to Austin. Mayor Ford met for lunch with Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell. He also signed a document inaugurating a formal music-related partnership between the two cultural capitals, called a “Music City Alliance”. Ford also made a brief and upbeat speech to the Austin City Council in the evening when he said, “I sincerely want to thank all of you for your friendship, hospitality and kindness that you’ve shown my wife Renata and my kids Douglas and Stephanie. I’m confident that this mission will be the first step in a long and fruitful relationship between two great hardworking cities.”

The second man caught up in drug dealing allegations with Mayor Rob Ford’s friend and occasional driver says he’s innocent. Jamshid Bahrami, who goes by Jay, has been charged with cocaine possession, marijuana trafficking and conspiracy to commit an indictable offense. The 47 year old owner of a dry cleaning shop in central Etobicoke was arrested on Tuesday night along with 35 year old Alexander Lisi, known as Sandro. Bahrami told reporters who spoke with him in his shop yesterday, he has a medical marijuana license to treat his arthritis and has done nothing wrong. “The only stupid thing I did was to have Sandro as my friend, who was involved with Rob Ford,” he explained, “Now having anybody as a friend like that is a crime? It’s not a crime.”

He admitted his other mistake was permitting a drug transaction at his shop. He says he thinks police were targeting Lisi because they want him to talk about the alleged crack video apparently showing the mayor smoking drugs. The married father of one was released on bail yesterday from Superior Court.

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