ABOVE: Critics call on Mayor Rob Ford to step down if he is the subject of a police investigation. Jackson Proskow reports.
TORONTO – Mayor Rob Ford won’t say whether he’s being investigated by police, despite multiple reports that police have been tracking Ford with a Cessna surveillance plane.
Asked to confirm if he was the subject of a police investigation, Ford shook his head Tuesday and shouted “Subways, subways, subways.”
Meanwhile, even Ford’s council allies are wondering for the second time since May whether the Mayor should step aside amid a firestorm of allegations.
“I don’t believe it’s in the city’s best interests to have a mayor who is under police investigation… that’s not the type of mayor that we need,” said Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong, Ford’s Chair of Public Works.
“I think it shows a level of bad judgement that he associates with people who have criminal records and may be involved in buying and selling drugs.”
Ford’s friend and sometime driver Alexander Lisi, arrested last week on drug charges, is reportedly at the centre of a top secret police investigation.
The two papers say this spurred a secret police investigation which then led to the arrest of Lisi and another man last week.
“Are the police, as the result of investigating Mr. Lisi … are they also investigating Mayor Ford?” Councillor Shelley Carroll asked during a scrum at city hall on Tuesday. If so, ‘then it’s time for the mayor to step down and take a leave of absence.”
Ford said last Wednesday he was “surprised” by the charges against Lisi and that he’s never seen him do drugs or drink.
“He’s a friend,” Ford said. “He’s a good guy and I don’t throw my friends under the bus. Like I said, he’s straight and narrow, I’ve never once seen him drink, I’ve never seen him do drugs.”
His brother Councillor Doug Ford, who confirmed the police investigation to the Toronto Sun on October 4, before denying the allegations and instead blaming it on the media while on television just days later, said Tuesday that he hopes “the police aren’t working hand in hand with the Toronto Star.”
The Star says it obtained police documents alleging Lisi tried to obtain a stolen cell phone belonging to an associate and sources tell the paper that man is the mayor.
“We’re talking about a man who as an individual, not as a mayor but as an individual in Toronto, may soon be criminally charged, for something to do with the drug trade community in this city, something that we fight everyday to end,” Carroll said. “I ask you: Would any other politician still be coming to work every day? Would the community be allowing it?”
Global News contacted police and the mayor’s office for comment. Neither responded.