NEWS
09/05/2014 09:45 EDT | Updated 11/05/2014 05:59 EST

Rob Ford subpoenaed in Sandro Lisi extortion case

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has been issued a subpoena to testify in an extortion case involving his friend and former driver Alexander (Sandro) Lisi.

Ford's lawyer, Dennis Morris, confirmed Friday that the mayor was served with the subpoena on Aug. 26.

Lisi is charged with extortion for what police have said are his efforts to recover a video recording that appears to show the mayor smoking crack cocaine.

Lisi is also charged with:

- Trafficking in marijuana.

- Possession of the proceeds of crime.

- Possession of marijuana.

- Conspiracy to commit an indictable offence.

A preliminary inquiry, which is held to determine if there is enough evidence to go to trial, is set for March of next year.

News of Ford's subpoena comes just as his re-election campaign reaches a crucial stage ahead of the Oct. 27 vote.

Ford spent two months in a rehab facility earlier this summer and has said his days of abusing drugs and alcohol are over.

Reports of Ford's subpoena in the Lisi extortion case began to surface weeks ago.

His brother and campaign manager, Coun. Doug Ford, accused police Chief Bill Blair of leaking information about the subpoena to the media. Doug Ford later retracted that statement after Blair threatened legal action.

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