Mayor Ford calls man arrested 'a friend'
Oct 2, 2013 / 10:31 am
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford says he's surprised and shocked one of his friends has been arrested and charged with four drug offences in the city's west end.
Toronto police say Alexander Lisi, 35, is one of two men arrested Tuesday after a search warrant was executed in connection with an ongoing criminal investigation.
Lisi is charged with trafficking in marijuana, possession of proceeds of crime, possession of marijuana and conspiracy to commit an indictable offence.
He is to appear in court at Toronto's Old City Hall today.
Media reports have described Lisi as a close friend and occasional driver for the mayor.
Ford says Lisi is a "good guy" and he's never seen him drink or do drugs.
"He's a friend, he's a good guy and I don't throw my friends under the bus," he said during a scrum at a gas station near his west-end home.
He refused to comment further on Lisi's arrest, saying the matter is before the courts.
The Toronto Star reported earlier this year that Lisi was looking for a video that allegedly showed Ford using crack cocaine. Ford has said he does not use crack cocaine and the alleged video does not exist.
The allegation surfaced in May 16 when reporters from the Star and the U.S website Gawker reported they were shown the video.
In connection with Tuesday's investigation, another man, Jamshid Bahrami, 47, of Toronto, is charged with possession of cocaine, three counts of trafficking in marijuana and conspiracy to commit an indictable offence.
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