Here we go again.
Justice Ian Nordheimer ruled today that some redacted bits in the police documents released last week—those that make up the information to obtain a search warrant into the goings-on of Alessandro Lisi—can be released to the public. Unsurprisingly, almost all newly revealed passages concern mayor Rob Ford. Just what was hiding behind those black bars? The Toronto Sun is reporting that it’s basically bombshell after bombshell—a word that’s starting to lose all meaning in the current scandal-blistered Fordscape we all inhabit. Omitted details, according to media lawyer Iain MacKinnon, include:
• Interviews with mayor Rob Ford’s former staffers Mark Towhey, David Price and George Christopoulos
• Two staffers approached Christopoulos about Ford’s use of “alcohol, including drinking and driving” and possibly prescription drugs
• Mark Towhey was sacked by the mayor because he accused him of being “in denial”
• Christopoulos said he resigned “because Ford is incapable of taking direction and doesn’t trust anyone”
• Former special assistant of communications Isaac Ransom told the cops that on St. Patrick’s Day 2012 he went to city hall at 9 p.m. and found the mayor with several people “including a woman he believed may be an escort”
• On that evening, Ransom told police, the mayor had consumed “half of a 40-ounce bottle of vodka and was talking about getting hammered and getting laid that night”
• Staff tried to keep the mayor from heading to his fateful night at the BierMarkt—but they failed.
• Ransom managed to keep Ford from smoking pot in his office
• A waiter at the BierMarkt told investigators that “he believed Ford had snorted cocaine in a private room”
• After returning to city hall that same night, Ford pushes staffers Brooks Barnett and Earl Provost because he was mad that they suggested he call it a night
• Provost says he saw mayor Ford take OxyContin that night, too
• Some members of Ford’s staff told the cops that a few women came to the mayor’s office saying Ford “had told them they could have a job after they smoked joints with him outside of bars”
• Staffer Chris Fickel told police he once saw mayor Ford guzzle a mickey of vodka, followed by Gatorade, while he drove home from a Don Bosco football game (Fickel eventually opted to get out and take a bus)
Justice Nordheimer did not rule that all redacted elements from the documents should be revealed. Still blacked out are dates of birth, licence plate numbers and phone numbers, as well as any sections related to Lisi’s fair trial rights. Also still redacted are references to events concerning the mayor’s wife, Renata Ford, “who apparently had some personal issues during the course of the time covered,” the judge wrote in his decision. “I do not see any reason at this stage why her personal circumstances need to be made public.”
The Sun published these details just as the mayor was defending himself from an onslaught of questions from his fellow council members at city hall. In the end, the council voted 37-5 in favour of asking mayor Ford to take a leave of absence.