Rob Ford has yet to respond to police request for interview, says detective

TORONTO – The senior homicide inspector leading the investigation into allegations of a video that appears to show Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine said Friday he is waiting for the mayor to respond to an interview request.

Det.-Sgt. Gary Giroux said he put in the request in the past few days.

“I’ve made the invitation through the mayor’s chief of staff,” Giroux said.

“That invitation, I’m going to pursue.”

On Thursday, the city’s chief of police made the jaw-dropping announcement that investigators had recovered a video earlier reported as appearing to show the mayor smoking crack cocaine and making racist and homophobic slurs.

The comments by Chief Bill Blair angered Ford’s supporters, who railed against him for convicting the embattled mayor in public.

“He could barely contain the smirk on his face,” Ford’s lawyer, Dennis Morris, told Newstalk 1010.

Morris, who called on Blair to resign, said the chief should release the video.

“The video exists. He’s seen it. Let the public see it. Let the public judge for themselves. I’d love to see it.”

As he did when reports of the video first surfaced in May, the lawyer questioned how anyone could know what substance the mayor might have been seen smoking.

Blair said the video had become part of legal proceedings against Ford’s friend and occasional driver, Sandro Lisi, and therefore could not be made public unless the courts allow that to happen.

The chief did offer some personal thoughts on the video.

“As a citizen of Toronto I’m disappointed,” Blair told the media.

“This is a traumatic issue for the citizens of this city and for the reputation of this city and that concerns me.”

Blair’s spokesman said the chief wasn’t just speaking off the cuff.

“Chief Blair sought and took legal advice from two very experienced and distinguished lawyers prior to the news conference,” spokesman Mark Pugash said Friday.

“No one should be surprised: these are extremely important matters and due diligence is something that has to be done.”

Ford’s brother, Coun. Doug Ford, also called Friday for the video to be released and denounced Blair for expressing personal opinions on such a sensitive topic.

But the councillor, who has been his brother’s biggest booster, appeared to soften some of his supportive statements.

“Over the years, we use bad judgment sometimes,” he told Toronto’s AM640. “Yes, Rob’s probably used bad judgment sometimes.”

Ford himself said Thursday he could not comment on Blair’s revelation because the matter is before the courts. He’s previously said the video did not exist and that he does not smoke crack cocaine.

Police recovered the video — first reported by website Gawker and the Toronto Star in May — in connection with an investigation that led to extortion charges against Lisi, 35.

Blair said there were no grounds to charge Ford as a result of the recovered video.

Lisi, who also faces drug-trafficking charges, was granted bail Friday.

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