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Case docs on Toronto mayor’s friend to be released

October 31, 2013

TORONTO (AP) — A judge on Wednesday ordered the release of police documents in the drug case against a friend of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, opening a new episode in a scandal gripping Canada’s largest city.

Peter Jacobsen, a lawyer for various Canadian news organizations that pushed to release the records, said the case against Alexander Lisi involves the mayor. Jacobsen, who had access to the documents while arguing for their release, could not provide further comment on their content.

Ford faced allegations in May that he had been caught on video puffing from a glass crack pipe. Two reporters with the Toronto Star said they saw the video, but it has not been released publicly. The Associated Press has not seen it and Ford maintains it does not exist.

The scandal prompted several Ford aides to resign and spurred calls for his resignation. Ford has said he does not smoke crack but has sidestepped questions about whether he has done so in the past. He has refused to resign.

The mayor declined to comment Wednesday on the case against Lisi, who occasionally serves as Ford’s driver and is charged with marijuana trafficking and possession. Ford said previously that he was shocked when Lisi was arrested earlier this month, calling him a “good guy” and saying he doesn’t abandon his friends.

Prosecutor Tom Andreopoulos said the documents will be released Thursday morning. “There’s a number of pages that you’ll be able to feast on in the morning,” he said.

The documents show that police followed Lisi and include photographs, the prosecutor added.

“There are no surprises here as to who he also met with,” he said.

Ford recently vouched for Lisi in a separate criminal case, praising his leadership skills and hard work in a letter filed with the court. The letter was part of a report prepared by a probation officer after Lisi was convicted of threatening to kill a woman.

Update hourly