Nov 01, 2013

By Jane Brown

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Toronto Mayor Rob Ford tried to maintain a sense of normalcy last night in his Etobicoke neighbourhood as he took his children outfor Hallowe’en. But the mayor’s life is anything but normal. His friend Alexander Lisi is scheduled to appear in court this morning. Lisi was arrested yesterday on an extortion charge in connection with a video that Chief Bill Blair says appears to be the same one that made international media headlines this past spring. “I’m not going to get into the evidence of this case,” Blair explained, “but I can tell you the digital video file that we have recovered depicts images which are consistent with those that have originally been reported in the press.”

It was on May 18th, two days after reports of a video showing Ford smoking what appears to be crack cocaine were published, that Chief Blair enlisted his top homicide investigator to find out whether it was real. A police document released yesterday details how Ford became central to a massive investigation after allegations about his activities sparked the sophisticated, covert probe that spanned six months. Former Ford chief of Staff, Mark Towhey, says based onChief Blair’s comments, there’s no doubt now that the controversial video exists. “He has an enormous amount of credibility when it comes to law enforcement, keeping the city safe and upholding the rule of law in the city, I don’t think anybody doubts his word, Towhey admits, “and so when he says there is a video, I think the average person, and myself included for the first believe, reasonably comfortably, that it exists.” Chief Blair says the video will be presented in court as part of Lisi’s extortion case. In the past Ford has insisted he doesn’t use drugs and said the video doesn’t exist. TheMayor is ignoring widespread calls for his resignation, saying, “I see no reason for it.” Twohey says, “if there’s any politician in North America who could survive something like this, it’s Rob Ford.”

The Ford scandal has once again made headlines around the world. Jay Leno even made a joke about Ford on his T-V program last night.

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