OPP take control of investigation into Mayor Rob Ford


mentalfloss
#1
OPP take control of investigation into Mayor Rob Ford

The Ontario Provincial Police has taken control of the Toronto Police Service’s investigation into Mayor Rob Ford.

Police Chief Bill Blair asked OPP Commissioner Chris Lewis to take the oversight role to “avoid the distractions that have assumed such recent prominence,” the city’s top cop said in a statement on Wednesday.

“The only public interest here is the continued investigation, without fear or favour, into evidence of possible criminality,” Chief Blair said.

The OPP is assuming oversight of Project Brazen 2, an ongoing Toronto investigation that is targeting both Mayor Ford and his friend, alleged drug dealer Alessandro Lisi. So far, the investigation has resulted in the arrest of Mr. Lisi for drug trafficking and extortion related to the infamous crack video, and tracked the mayor around the city for months, documenting Mr. Lisi and Mr. Ford's meetings.

But Mayor Ford told reporters at City Hall Wednesday afternoon "the damage has already been done," adding that "the chief, obviously, is just playing politics."

When asked whether he's concerned he may be criminally charged, Mr. Ford said "charged for what? Empty vodka bottle or urinating in a park, which one?" Both are incidents witnessed by investigators during their months-long surveillance on the mayor.

He repeated his demand to know how much police have spent on the investigation. "I want to know how much money they spent on surveilling me, renting planes, and doing the whole nine yards."

Toronto Police spokesman Mark Pugash said that the same team of Toronto Police investigators, led by Detective Sergeant Gary Giroux, will continue leading the investigation. But now, they will be responsible to OPP leadership, rather than the TPS, he said.

Mr. Pugash said that Chief Blair first approached Commissioner Lewis on Tuesday about overseeing the investigation, and the issue was resolved Wednesday. He said the main motivation behind the decision was to avoid the risk of tainting any case that will come before the courts.

"We’ve seen a significant increase in the level of personal attacks, and it’s not about personal attacks," he said. "But if there’s even the slightest suggestion that a personal attack may impede or damage a case in front of the courts, we will err on the side of caution."

When asked whether the step signifies that additional charges are coming, Mr. Pugash said no. "That’s not intended to send that message," he said.

Commissioner Lewis said Tuesday that he was happy to help when approached by Chief Blair. He said that, given the recent words exchanged in public between the Fords and Chief Blair, “I can see why the chief is thinking, ‘members of the public are going to wonder if I’m doing the right thing.' And I’m confident that he is doing the right thing, but at the same time, if we can help and ensure that we put that buffer zone in there to show the impartiality, then that’s what we’ll do.”

He said that the original team of TPS investigators will now report to an OPP inspector, who will ultimately report up the chain to him. Any decision on whether to lay charges in the investigation will be made with an OPP officer in charge, he said.

When asked to describe his own relationship with Mayor Ford, Commissioner Lewis said the two do not know each other well. “I’ve met him at events and shaken his hands, but I don’t think he even knows my name,” he said.

The mayor's brother, Councillor Doug Ford, said he was "happy" to hear that the OPP will now be overseeing the investigation.

"It won't be so political, maybe."

Mayor Ford and his brother have been critical of the investigation and have questioned Chief Blair's leadership, accusing him of "playing politics."

Long-simmering tension between the mayor and chief escalated last week when Mr. Ford dared Chief Blair to arrest him and demanded he apologize to taxpayers for the expensive investigation.

“If he’s going to arrest me, arrest me. I have done nothing wrong and he’s wasted millions of dollars,” Mr. Ford said.

The Fords and Chief Blair have been publicly at odds since October, when the chief revealed police have a copy of a video that appears to show the mayor smoking crack cocaine. Chief Blair told reporters he was “disappointed” and police were investigating Mr. Ford. In November, Mayor Ford admitted to smoking crack cocaine.

There have previously been calls for Toronto Police to refer the investigation to the OPP, given the Toronto force depends on city council for its budget and is governed by a civilian board partly appointed by city hall.

Councillor Adam Vaughan, a frequent critic of the mayor's, said that Chief Blair's decision highlights the seriousness of the allegations.

"Having the OPP come in, I guess, just helps us have confidence the police work is police work and hopefully we'll get some answers."

But he said he doesn't agree with the Fords' criticism about Chief Blair "playing politics."

"The chief has a very complex job. I don’t think he was as hands-on as the Fords would like you to believe," he said. "I don’t think that’s how policing works. And that certainly doesn’t work that way if what you’re looking for is success in the courts."

OPP take control of investigation into Mayor Rob Ford - The Globe and Mail
 
Liberalman
#2
Olivia is happy about this one
 
pgs
Free Thinker
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by LiberalmanView Post

Olivia is happy about this one

Why ?
What's to say she won't get the same treatment ?
 
lone wolf
Free Thinker
+2
#4  Top Rated Post
Quote:

But Mayor Ford told reporters at City Hall Wednesday afternoon "the damage has already been done," adding that "the chief, obviously, is just playing politics."

Actually, the Chief is making a wise move in stepping back from a conflict of interest defense
 
BornRuff
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by pgsView Post

Why ?
What's to say she won't get the same treatment ?

Meh. If she surrounds herself with fewer drug dealers and gang members, she should be fine.
 
mentalfloss
#6
In b4 Layton rub n tug.
 
BornRuff
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

In b4 Layton rub n tug.

What are the odds that Ford will bring that up in a debate?
 
lone wolf
Free Thinker
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by BornRuffView Post

What are the odds that Ford will bring that up in a debate?

Did Olivia get a rubdown too?
 
Retired_Can_Soldier
+1
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by lone wolfView Post

Actually, the Chief is making a wise move in stepping back from a conflict of interest defense

I agree, this should have actually been done early on though. Once the Mayor came into this it should have been passed off.
 
mentalfloss
#10
Police obtain additional warrant in Mayor Rob Ford investigation | Globalnews.ca
 
BornRuff
+1
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by lone wolfView Post

Did Olivia get a rubdown too?

Not that I know of, but I wouldn't be all that surprised if attacking her dead husband became one of his talking points. If not in a debate, at least in a drunken stake queen stump speech.

Quote: Originally Posted by Retired_Can_SoldierView Post

I agree, this should have actually been done early on though. Once the Mayor came into this it should have been passed off.

Well, normal protocol wouldn't suggest that, but the Fords have been truly shameless in their attempts to save their own butt, so at this point it does make sense to completely remove that angle.
 
DaSleeper
#12
Good unbiased opinion.....
 
BornRuff
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by DaSleeperView Post

Good unbiased opinion.....

Sure, but do you really disagree? From dragging Andy Pringle, who was one of their supporters, through the mud in order to attack Blair, to calling him a cock sucker and refusing to apologize for it, it sure doesn't seem like they have much shame.
 
tay
#14
Why don't they wait until Lisi goes to Court and see what comes from that........






New allegations surface on Rob Fordís friend Sandro Lisi






New allegations surface on Rob Ford’s friend Sandro Lisi - Toronto | Globalnews.ca












 
tay
#15
Something's not right with Doug. He always has an excuse for Rob's behaviour and never seems to suggest that something is amiss.


I just don't understand his zeal for Rob to win again.


I think he needs a hobby to replace his brothers imposed Political ambitions.




Declaring war in the Braveheart tradition?


Maybe he's doing crack now...........










 

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