Staffers in Rob Ford’s office told police they were concerned about drug and alcohol use by the mayor and said he was seen at City Hall in the company of women they suspected may be prostitutes, according to a newly released police document.
The allegations are included in a nearly 500-page document that was used to obtain a search warrant in a months-long investigation, which targeted Mr. Ford and his friend, accused drug dealer Alessandro (Sandro) Lisi.
Portions of the document – called an information to obtain, or ITO – were unsealed on Wednesday after media organizations, including The Globe and Mail, were successful in their application to unseal the material.
None of the allegations against the mayor have been proven in court. No charges have been laid against the mayor or his staffers.
The document includes interviews with staffers from the mayor’s office, including former chief of staff Mark Towhey, former press secretary George Christopoulos and Mr. Ford’s current director of operations, David Price.
One notable allegation was made by Mr. Christopoulos, who is described in the document as probably “the person that the Mayor would confide in the most.”
Mr. Christopoulos told police that the mayor said he knew Anthony Smith but did not mention how. Mr. Smith, who was gunned down earlier this year, was one of the men in a notorious photograph of the mayor, posing with alleged gang members.
However, Mr. Ford told city council on Wednesday that he met the men in the photo the night it was taken and never saw them again.
A number of the incidents detailed in the document occurred at the Bier Markt pub, in Toronto, on St. Patrick’s Day, 2012. According to former staffer Isaac Ransom, the night began at city hall around 9 p.m., when he was called to the mayor’s office.
Mr. Ransom told police Mr. Ford had consumed a lot of vodka and was trying to get his staffers to drink with him. The mayor, he said, talked “about getting hammered, going out, then getting laid.” Despite staffers’ appeals to have him remain at his office, Mr. Ransom said, the mayor insisted on going to a party on the Esplanade.
In a taxi en route to the bar, Mr. Ransom said other staffers told him, the mayor made derogatory racial remarks and “threw business cards” at the driver.
After the bar, Mr. Ransom said, Mr. Ford was “tired and erratic.” One moment, he would break down crying about his father, Mr. Ransom said. At another, he would berate his staffers, calling them “Liberal hacks.”
While at the bar, according to a Bier Markt employee interviewed by police, the mayor and a woman were seen “turned in towards each other with their heads down and back from the table and he heard 2 ‘sniffs’ from both of them. It appeared that they were hiding what they were doing.” The Bier Markt employee said a Ford staffer later told him not to tell anyone what he’d seen that night. Mr. Christopolous later told police “there are some allegations that the mayor did a ‘bump’ off his wrist while at the bar.”
Michael Neptune, a security staffer at the Bier Markt posted outside the Merchant Room that evening, told police that when the mayor was ready to leave, he tried to lead him out through the cellar so he could avoid other patrons.
But Mr. Ford decided to walk out on to the dance floor. “He ended up pushing people out of his way as he entered the dance floor,” Mr. Neptune told police. “He was flushed, had bloodshot eyes and his co-ordination was bad.”
According to former Ford staffers Mr. Ransom and Mr. Fickel, the mayor’s entourage that night included a woman described in the document as a “professional escort who knew the Mayor Ford well.” She returned with them to city hall that night, according to Mr. Ransom, and had been seen with him on at least one other occasion, at a stag party.
The mother of the woman told The Globe on Wednesday that her daughter is not an escort.