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Old 11-13-2013, 03:16 PM   #151 (permalink)
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Judge orders release of more material in Mayor Rob Ford investigation | Toronto & GTA | News | Toronto Sun

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TORONTO - Rob Ford’s staffers told Toronto Police shocking details about booze, drugs and even a suspected prostitute in the mayor’s City Hall office, according to a media lawyer who has seen the redacted sections that have been ordered unsealed.

The bombshell information is contained in police interviews that will be released to the public after Justice Ian Nordheimer ruled Wednesday that some blacked-out portions of the information to obtain a search warrant into the affairs of Ford’s friend Alexander Lisi can be made available.

Among the redacted information to be released are interviews with former Ford staffers Mark Towhey, David Price and George Christopoulos, according to media lawyer Iain MacKinnon.

According to the documents, MacKinnon said, two staffers expressed concern to Christopoulos about Ford’s use of alcohol, including drinking and driving. Mayor’s staff said they figured Ford had an issue with alcohol and/or prescription drugs and needed to straighten himself out, the documents say. Towhey was fired because he tried to give Ford advice that the mayor didn’t want to hear: He’s in denial. Christopoulos said he resigned because Ford is incapable of taking direction and doesn’t trust anyone.

Some of the most startling allegations concern the night of March 17, 2012.

Former special assistant of communications Isaac Ransom told police, according to MacKinnon, that he was summoned to City Hall about 9 p.m. on St. Patrick’s Day in 2012 and found Ford there with a few people including a woman he believed may be an escort. He said Ford had drank half of a 40 oz bottle of vodka and was talking about getting hammered and getting laid that night.

His staff tried unsuccessfully to convince him not to go to Bier Markt, according to Ransom. He said he did manage to stop Ford from smoking pot in his office before he left. He said he’s never seen him do cocaine.

MacKinnon said that according to the documents, a waiter at the Bier Markt told investigators that he believed Ford had snorted cocaine in a private room that night.

The waiter said he saw Ford and a woman with their heads down, trying to hide what they were doing, and then heard “two sniffs,” according to the documents. He was told by a Ford staffer not to tell anyone what he had seen - which he said confirmed for him that he had seen the mayor do coke.

According to the documents, there were four or five people in the private room including some women who didn’t appear to be staffers. About an hour and a half later, the waiter heard that Ford went to the dance floor and pushed people out of the way. The waiter said he later got in trouble from management for telling people Ford did cocaine in the private room of the bar.

But the Bier Markt manager told police he didn’t see Ford doing drugs that night and the mayor was not kicked out of the bar as some media later reported. A bartender told police he saw the mayor very intoxicated and witnessed him charging the dance floor. He was told by the waiter that Ford had done cocaine that night and the DJ had photos of the mayor “really f---ed up.”

When he got back to City Hall following his intoxicated evening at the bar, Ransom said Ford pushed staffers Brooks Barnett and Earl Provost because he was agitated they were telling him to go home.

MacKinnon said that Towhey told police Ford was very drunk on that St. Paddy’s Day at the Bier Markt and he was told by Provost that he saw Ford take OxyContin. Towhey was told Ford got into a physical altercation with two staffers back at his City Hall office that night.

Provost took him home in a taxi and when they got there, Ford then got into his car and drove off.

According to the documents seen by the media lawyer, Towhey told police he believes Ford is an alcoholic and was told Ford once bought a mickey of alcohol and then got behind the wheel, according to the documents. He said staff often buy Ford booze. He also said the mayor was incoherent and intoxicated by something on the night of the Garrison Ball but Ford angrily refused Towhey’s advice not to attend.

Ford’s staff told police that some women came to the mayor’s office saying Ford had told them they could have a job after they smoked joints with him outside of bars, MacKinnon says.

Staffer Chris Fickel told police, according to MacKinnon, that Payman Aboodowleh, who helped coach the Don Bosco football team, explained in December 2012 that he had stopped talking to Ford because he was worried the mayor was doing a lot of cocaine.

Fickel told police he believes Ford is an alcoholic and saw him drinking a mickey of vodka, chased down by Gatorade, while he drove them home once from a Don Bosco football game. Fickel said he demanded that he be let out of his car and took a bus.

While acknowledging that some of the redacted information may bring “possible harm to innocent persons,” Nordheimer said that is trumped by the public’s right to know. He noted that much of the redacted sections refer to police interviews with “persons connected to the mayor.”

But Nordheimer made an exception and will continue to seal references in the ITO to events involving the mayor’s wife “who apparently had some personal issues during the course of the time covered by the ITO.”

“I do not see any reason at this stage why her personal circumstances need to be made public,” he wrote in his decision.

Dates of birth, licence plate numbers and telephone numbers will also be blacked out as well as any portions that directly related to Lisi’s fair trial rights.
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