WATCH ABOVE: The mayor remained silent about new allegations of illegal activity. Jackson Proskow reports.
TORONTO – It’s been 10 months since Gawker published “For Sale: A Video of Toronto Mayor Rob FORD Smoking Crack Cocaine,” five months since Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair confirmed the mayor appears in the alleged crack video, and five months less a week since Ford admitted he has smoked crack cocaine in the past.
Here’s a look at five key questions that Ford has yet to answer.
1. Did you ask Alexander “Sandro” Lisi to recover the alleged crack cocaine video?
Lisi, Ford’s friend and former occasional driver, was charged with extortion, only weeks after an arrest on drug charges. Police allege Lisi threatened two young men into giving him the alleged crack video.
Court documents released Oct. 31 exposed an extensive police investigation of Lisi and Ford. Those documents revealed police had been following Lisi for months and had photographed him multiple times meeting the mayor at gas stations, parking lots and parks around the city. Nothing in the documents has been proven in court.
If Ford was involved, he could also face an extortion charge.
WATCH: Toronto Mayor Rob Ford runs away from reporters at city hall on March 19.
2. What was in the packages you exchanged with Lisi?
Toronto Police surveillance showed Ford and Lisi with packages at an Esso gas station twice in July 2013, according to CCTV stills and descriptions recorded in 300 pages of information used by police to obtain a search warrant. The documents include allegations that have not yet been proven in court.
On one occasion, the documents allege, Ford entered the station and headed straight to the washroom. Soon after, Lisi entered the gas station holding a manila envelope. He made purchases, left the station, walked along the passenger side of Ford’s Escalade and walked out of frame of the surveillance cameras. At about the same time he left the frame, Ford came out of the washroom, made a purchase, and then got into his Escalade and drove away, according to the documents.
In documents released Wednesday, police characterized some of Ford’s meetings and communications with Lisi as “indicative to that of drug trafficking.”
Ford ran away from reporters at city hall on Wednesday afternoon following the release of these allegations. (See video at top of story).
3. How did you come to know the people who provided you with crack cocaine?
While it’s unclear who provided the mayor with crack cocaine, court documents allege Ford had visited a “trap house” with ties to a Toronto street gang. The gang, referred to as the “Dixon Bloods” or the “Dixon Goonies,” operated in northwest Toronto near Kipling Avenue and Dixon Road, and was the focus of a police raid called Project Traveller.
Lisi’s extortion charge sheet alleges he “did induce Mohamed Siad or Liban Siyad by threats or violence or menaces to deliver said digital video recording.” Siad and Siyad are charged in connection with the Project Traveller raid, which was part of a larger group of raids throughout southern Ontario.
INTERACTIVE: Who’s who in the Rob Ford documents
Siad was charged with three counts of participation in a criminal organization, fourteen counts of conspiracy to commit an indictable offence, four counts of trafficking in cocaine, trafficking in firearms, unauthorized possession of a firearm, possession of a firearm knowing its possession is unauthorized, and possession of firearm obtained by the commission of an offence.
Siyad was charged with conspiracy to commit an indictable offence and participation in a criminal organization.
They were among 28 people arrested during raids on June 17, 2013, when police seized over $500,000 and approximately $3 million in drugs. Over the span of the raids, 44 people faced approximately 224 charges – a significant number of which were related to trafficking guns and drugs and participating in a criminal organization.
4. How many times have you smoked crack cocaine or used other illegal drugs since becoming mayor of Toronto?
On Nov. 7, 2013 a video of Ford was posted online that appeared to show him in an agitated rage, slapping his legs and making death threats. Ford said he was “extremely inebriated” in the video.
The following week, city councilor Denzil Minnan-Wong asked Ford if he had purchased illegal drugs in the past two years. Ford answered yes.
A second video showing Ford drunkenly rambling profanity in Jamaican patois emerged Jan. 21, 2014 in the face of his claims to have sworn off booze.
Since Ford’s initial admission, Proskow and others have asked about the frequency of the mayor’s drug use, to which he has said repeatedly he doesn’t currently “do drugs” and is not “an addict.”
5. Why won’t you agree to an interview with police or take police up on their offer to view the alleged crack video?
According to the documents released Wednesday, Detective Gary Giroux spoke with the mayor’s lawyer Dennis Morris between Oct. 28 and Nov. 7. Giroux offered to let the mayor view the video under two conditions: He couldn’t discuss the video with anyone and couldn’t comment on the video.
Ford refused comment Wednesday, but Morris called the police offer “baloney.” Morris said for police to show the mayor but not allow him to discuss it with anyone was “absurd.”
With files from Jackson Proskow, James Armstrong and Anna Mehler Paperny