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The Lisi Papers: Police Have the Rob Ford Video, Sandro Lisi Charged With Extortion

Chief Bill Blair confirms that the video once viewed by Gawker and the Toronto Star is in the hands of Toronto police.

In response to this morning’s release of documents related to the arrest of Sandro Lisi, Rob Ford’s friend and occasional driver, Police Chief Bill Blair held a press conference to begin to address some media questions. Among those questions: Was Lisi providing drugs to Rob Ford, and was Lisi attempting to retrieve a video allegedly showing Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine.

Though he would not reply to many queries, Blair did say the following:

On October 29—on Tuesday of this week—we received information from our computer technology section that in the examination of a hard drive that had been seized on June 13, they were able to identify a number of files that had been deleted, and that they were able to recover those files. As a result, I have been advised that we are now in possession of a recovered digital video file relevant to the investigations that have been conducted. That file contains video images which appear to be those images that were previously reported in the press with respect to events that took place, we believe, at a house on Windsor Road in Etobicoke.

That information has been turned over to our investigators…who have taken that video evidence into consideration, and as a result of their investigations and evidence that they have gathered, they have this morning taken into custody a Mr. Sandro Lisi and laid a charge of extortion with respect to the evidence that has been collected.

ABlair went on to say that Lisi was expected in court later today, and that all the evidence related to the charge would end up being presented in court, but that he was not releasing the video immediately. (A news release issued by the Toronto Police Service a short time later advised that “It is alleged that the accused made extortive efforts to retrieve a recording” and that he “is scheduled to appear in court at Old City Hall, on a date/time not yet determined.”) Blair confirmed that he had seen the video, and that there was “no indication” that it had been doctored. A reporter asked if he was shocked at what he saw, to which Blair replied: “As a citizen of Toronto, I’m disappointed.” No search warrant, he said, has been issued for Rob Ford’s house.

The full press conference is embedded above; Blair’s remarks begin at 5:10.


  • tyrannosaurus_rek

    *holds breath*

  • tomwest

    If Rob Ford called anyone a liar over the video, that person could now sue Ford (for slander/libel) and subpoena the video to show in court…

  • bobloblawbloblawblah

    Save your money, Rob. Don’t bother running for re-election. You’re done. Kaput.

  • Butch

    I’m staying cautiously optimistic on this one.

  • danieljchristie

    Oh what a tangled web we weave…..

  • Brian Young

    One wag suggested a new headline: “Rob Ford denies the existence of Chief Bill Blair”

  • OgtheDim


  • Astin44

    I can’t wait for Ford to speak. I imagine it will go along the lines of:

    “I have no idea what’s on this alleged video, or if its contents are authentic or faked. This is just more of the ridiculous witch hunt the media has perpetrated against me as they trespass on my property and harass my family. We’re going to keep doing the good work of saving the taxpayers of Toronto a billion dollars and building the subways, subways, subways that they need and deserve in Scarborough.”

    • vampchick21

      It’s either that or a repeat of his initial silence at the start of crackgate. If he actually admits the truth I’ll be very, very shocked.

      • John D.

        More likely he’ll just stamp his little feet and bellow, “It’s not a crime if I do it!!!”

        • BlackRabbit

          “Little” feet?

  • Pingston

    Lisi charged with extortion. Who was he extorting? If it was Ford, that’s a new twist.

    • Paul Kishimoto

      “made extortive efforts to retrieve a recording”—this sounds more like blackmail: “If you don’t give us the video, we’re going to send the policy to your door.”

      • andrew97

        The policy? Oh shit! I’ll be stuck in boring meetings for weeks!

        • Paul Kishimoto

          Fixed my typo — WHO LOOKS SILLY NOW?

          (A: Ford.)

  • Dinah Might


  • OgtheDim

    The video as described by Gawker and the Star exists. Its contents as described are real. Rob Ford is as he was said to be as far as drug use is concerned

    Ford lied. He consorted with somebody who tried to get that video back and, allegedly, used extortion to do so.

    He must resign.

    What he does after that is his issue. He wants to run for Mayor, sure. But he can no longer be mayor under this current mandate.

    Ford must resign.

    • johnny larue

      You are entirely correct. I would add that the next jump in reasoning is easy to make…Rob Ford hired Lisi to get the recording, or at the very least Lisi took it upon his own to find the video(being Ford’s friend) and later informed Rob Ford that he had done so. In all instances, Rob Ford cannot hold office under this cloud of suspicion.

  • dsmithhfx

    Done. Like dinner.

    • Testu

      Except of course for the part where he’s the mayor until he decides otherwise (until the election anyway). Unless he’s actually convicted and jailed for something there is no way to make him step down.

      • dsmithhfx

        I think the next logical step is for his executive committee to resign en masse. Or not. Plenty of tar to go around, folks!

        • Testu

          Council basically has three options, status quo, ignore Ford completely, or stonewall on everything shutting down the city government until he resigns.

          I doubt they’ll go for options two or three given who the speaker is and given the immense clusterfuck the third option would cause.

          • rich1299

            City council has worked just fine while ignoring Ford in the past. I wasn’t aware Ford had much influence on council anymore anyways, I think the difference this time will be the executive committee will almost certainly start ignoring him as well.

      • Lee Zamparo

        It will be interesting to see how council reacts. I don’t think it’s responsible for the executive committee to resign en masse, they have a duty to perform.

        • dsmithhfx

          The executive committee is appointed by the mayor to do his bidding. The irresponsible thing for current members is not to resign en masse and to pretend this changes nothing, because every single minute of council inaction following Blair’s announcement is a spreading stain on the character of this city and its elected officials.

          Council can carry on in some fashion without a crackhead mayor or his appointed executive committee of useful idiots — as it has already demonstrated.

          • Lee Zamparo

            Maybe I’m wrong, but I think there would be real procedural consequences resulting from the entire executive committee resigning. First, they would have to be replaced, since this body acts as a gateway for some parts of city business. No committee would mean some business never reaches council (unless a super majority vote in council calling for a special meeting).

            I agree this whole business taints city hall; the current administration has lost whatever credibility it had accrued to begin with. But I don’t think abandoning the executive will help. Maybe instead, the executive council could vote to bring a motion of censure against the mayor? This way they still keep business going and condemn the behaviour of the mayor for bringing the office of the mayor into disrepute.

          • rich1299

            I can see the executive committee ignoring Ford completely, yes he can keep replacing them but with whom? Which councillors will want to be the ones picked by Ford for this committee now? Can Ford get rid of the executive committee altogether? I have no idea but I doubt it, I think it will be the executive committee calling the shots for Ford now and not the other way around.

            Ford is going to make much harder for future mayors to get their way and that’s probably a good thing. Once city council took the big leap in ignoring the mayor and working around him on the transit file the realization that they could successfully do so on any issue will likely be remembered for some time to come.

    • VictorianShuter

      Will there be gravy at this dinner?

  • vampchick21

    His official twitter account this morning invited people to come see his haunted office before 8pm today. :) Among all these bombshells against him and he’s still desperately trying to go business as usual.

    • dsmithhfx


  • DuddyKravitz

    And this is just the beginning. More info to come on what that fine fellow Dave Price was up to. :-)

  • BlackRabbit

    Next time Ford says something stupid, I’d pay money for someone to confront him with an open mic and ask “Are you smoking….oh, wait.”

  • Inducted Kitty

    Guess there is no honor between thieves and crack dealers…