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Toronto OPP Commissioner now in the hot seat for Rob Ford investigation

Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Commissioner Chris Lewis announces the arrest of three people, Kathleen Chung, Jun-Chul Chung and Kenneth Chung, in a case of lottery insider fraud at a press conference in Toronto on Wednesday, September 29, 2010. A father, son and female family member are all facing charges after allegedly stealing a $12.5-million lottery ticket in Burlington, Ont. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrien Veczan


For Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner Chris Lewis, the investigation of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford will not be the first time the 35-year veteran of the force has been tapped for a high-profile probe. He has also been in the spotlight for his role investigating the office of former Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty.

Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair sent a letter to Commissioner Lewis this week asking the OPP to take an "oversight" role in Project Brazen 2 – an investigation of the Toronto mayor and his friend, alleged drug dealer Alessandro Lisi.

Commissioner Lewis became a familiar face at the Ontario legislature in the investigation into allegations Liberal political staffers deleted e-mail records related to the cancellation of two Ontario power plants. Last month, investigators in that probe visited the office of Premier Kathleen Wynne.

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Commissioner Lewis, who is to retire at the end of this month, started as a constable in Kapuskasing, Ont. He has earned all three levels of the Canadian Order of Merit of the Police Forces – and was tapped to lead the OPP in 2010.

Deputy Commissioner Vince Hawkes will replace him on March 29.

With reports from Karen Howlett and The Canadian Press

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