Though he has no official connections to the Mayor’s office, the Wednesday arrest of “friend” and occasional chauffeur to Rob Ford has again embroiled the Toronto Mayor’s office in controversy, renewing doubts about Ford and the questionable affiliations he keeps.

Alessandro Lisi

Alessandro Lisi (right), who reportedly made attempts to obtain the famed but yet-to-be-proven “Rob Ford crack video”, was charged with possession of marijuana less than 30 grams, possession of the proceeds of crime and conspiracy to commit an indictable offence.  

Despite the minor charges against him, Lisi’s home and workplace were throughly searched by a team of officers led by one of Toronto’s foremost detectives.  Police remain adamant in their silence as to what they were looking for, and what they found.

Sergeant Gary Giroux-–one of Toronto’s highest-profile detectives–served as the lead investigator in the arrest. Marijuana possession and even trafficking are considered less serious, lower priority crimes for Toronto detectives, a fact which has left many wondering why Toronto Police chief Bill Blair decided to assign such a high-ranking, high-profile detective to investigate Lisi’s case.

A spokesman for Toronto police said it was not uncommon for the force to deploy Giroux in such a manner, calling him an “extremely experienced, extremely able and extremely tenacious investigator.”

Though praised for his tenacity, Det. Sgt. Giroux was apparently not tenacious enough to warn his mayor that Alessandro Lisi, who has multiple previous convictions (including assault, threatening death and drug possession), is perhaps an unwise choice for personal chauffeur.

Speaking to the media, Mayor Ford described Lisi as a “friend” and “good guy”, ignoring repeated questions asking how Lisi had met the mayor, and why someone with such a criminal history was welcome in Mayor Ford’s inner circle.

“I don’t throw my friends under the bus.”

Since May 2013, Ford has faced a deluge of unwanted questions about an alleged video depicting the chronically embattled Toronto mayor sharing a crack pipe with members of the Dixon City Bloods street gang.  Within 30 days, a half-dozen of Ford’s staff had resigned their positions, and Toronto’s embarrassment had become joke fodder for late-night hosts Jimmy Kimmel, Jay Leno, and Jon Stewart.

In an ultimately failed attempt to sell the video to the media, the first individual claiming its possession remains incarcerated on multiple charges.  Mohammad Siad, 27, whose residence also underwent meticulous search and seizure on the evening of his arrest, is being kept in segregation following an alleged attempt on his life by another inmate.

Despite a court-ordered release of police documentation pertaining to the search warrant served on Mohammad Siad’s residence, the documents remain redacted and under a publication ban.  For now, questions about both Lisi and Siad will remain unanswered, by order of the mayor.

“Money is protection.”

– Mohammad Siad

With sources from The Globe & Mail, The Toronto Star, The National Post, and The Week.
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