A long-time friend of the Ford brothers, Mr. Price became the mayor’s director of logistics in April. Mr. Ford’s former spokesman, George Christopoulos, told police Mr. Price was hired at double the salary of others in the office. Mr. Price knows Fabio Basso, an occupant of the bungalow where the alleged crack video is said to have been filmed, according to unredacted pages of a police document released Wednesday. Its allegations have not been proven in court. A Globe investigation revealed Mr. Price was a partner in a hash-dealing enterprise in the 1980s headed by the mayor’s brother, Doug Ford. Doug has denied he ever dealt drugs. Mr. Price did not respond to a request for comment. When asked about Mr. Price’s hiring, the mayor’s brother said, “You can’t teach loyalty.” Mr. Price, a former financial adviser, graduated from York University with a degree in economics. According to a since-removed LinkedIn profile, Mr. Price spent at least a decade at State Street Trust Company Canada, a global-financial services firm.
Mr. Ransom, who resigned from Mr. Ford’s communication team in May, has been working as Councillor Peter Leon’s executive assistant since October. In his interview with police, he said he arrived at the mayor’s office in the early evening on St. Patrick’s Day, 2012, and found his boss drinking vodka straight from the bottle and “totally out of it,” the document says. Mr. Ransom worked as Councillor Gary Crawford’s executive assistant, according to his LinkedIn profile. Mr. Ransom also worked as a campaign strategist on various local campaigns and as a constituency assistant for federal Liberal MP Scott Brison in his Nova Scotia riding in 2005. “His easy manner allowed him to deal with any constituent without any problem,” said Mr. Brison’s spokesman, Dale Palmater. “You never would see him angry.”
Mr. Fickel first made headlines in 2012 when it was revealed the mayor relied on him (and his taxpayer-funded cellphone) to help administer the summer football teams Mr. Ford founded after winning office. Mr. Fickel told police he left the mayor’s office to focus on a “joint business endeavour he has been working on involving a smart-phone application,” the document says, adding “he wanted his life back and decided to resign.” Mr. Fickel also told investigators he was in the mayor’s vehicle when Mr. Ford pulled to the side of the road and removed a mickey of vodka from a paper bag. He said the mayor drank the vodka in less than two minutes. According to a Facebook page for a Chris Fickel who lists himself as former special assistant to the mayor, Mr. Fickel studied communications at Wilfred Laurier University and geography at York University. It says he graduated from Thornlea Secondary School, in a suburb outside Toronto, in 2006.
Mr. Nejatian, the mayor’s former executive assistant, is now a real estate analyst at Real Facilities Inc. in Toronto, his LinkedIn profile says. He also worked as director of Mr. Ford’s field campaign in 2010. Mr. Nejatian, who told police he once discovered a marijuana cigarette in Mr. Ford’s desk drawer, also said the mayor asked him to write a reference letter for Alessandro Lisi, the mayor’s friend and an alleged drug dealer. “He was reluctant to write the letter,” the document says. Mr. Nejatian was formerly a senior leasing manager at Varsity Properties and a communications assistant for Christine Elliott’s 2009 campaign to become leader of the provincial Progressive Conservative party, his LinkedIn profile says. The mayor’s former chief of staff, Mark Towhey, described Mr. Nejatian in his online recommendation as “one of the rare individuals to whom I could just hand a problem with little hope of solution, leave him alone, and come back to find it solved.” The profile says Mr. Nejatian attended Ontario Real Estate College after obtaining a bachelor of arts in economics from Queen’s University in 2010.
Mr. Christopoulos, who left the mayor’s communications team in May, was among the employees present at a meeting with “inner circle staff” on May 17 – the day after reports of the alleged crack video first emerged, the police document says. Mr. Nejatian, Mr. Ransom, Mr. Towhey and Earl Provost, the mayor’s current chief of staff, were also said to be present. Mr. Christopoulos had been hired to the mayor’s office in early 2012 after “eight years of playing a key role in developing the Toronto Police Service’s position on a full range of emerging and ongoing media issues,” according to a statement released at the time. Earlier that year, Mr. Christopoulos was recognized with an award for his work in building bridges between the city’s ethnic communities and police. In the summer, Mr. Christopoulos was announced as vice-president of communications for Toronto’s Building Industry and Land Development Association. He has a bachelor of English from York University and a journalism diploma from Sheridan College, and once worked as a Toronto Sun reporter.
With a report from Karen Howlett