Coun. Doug Ford is concerned about purported leaks from a Toronto police investigation involving a friend of Mayor Rob Ford, though at the same time he doesn’t believe investigators are releasing the information being cited in media reports.
The mayor’s brother was asked Tuesday about media reports describing an alleged attempt by Alessandro (Sandro) Lisi to retrieve a missing phone — believed to belong to the mayor — earlier this year.
Lisi was arrested last week on several drug-related charges, along with a second individual.
The mayor said he was "very surprised" and "shocked" to learn that his friend was facing drug charges.
According to a report published by the Toronto Star yesterday, Lisi allegedly offered to swap marijuana for the missing phone, which police said belonged to "an associate."
The associate is not named in the police document cited by the Star.
The Star report said it was unclear if Lisi’s attempt to recover the phone was successful.
Late yesterday, the Toronto Sun also published a report about Lisi and the alleged attempt to get back the missing phone. That report also cited information from a police document.
CBC News cannot verify the allegations about Lisi that were included in the Star and Sun reports.
'I'm very concerned'
On Tuesday, Coun. Ford said he didn't believe the Star report, though he also felt it was inappropriate for police to be leaking information.
"I support the police, but I’m very concerned — it’s very disturbing, if the police are breaking the law, which I don’t believe they are for a second," Ford said.
Ford would not say if the mayor had, indeed, lost his cellphone in March, as the report said.
"I can’t answer that, you’re going to have to ask the mayor that," he said.
Earlier in the day, police Deputy Chief Peter Sloly was also asked about the reports regarding Lisi and the missing phone and whether the information contained in those reports came from police.
"I believe somebody who alleges that they are part of the Toronto Police Service provided some leaked information to a media outlet. But this did not come from the Toronto Police Service," Sloly told CBC Radio's Metro Morning.
Questions about video
The mayor has faced intensive media scrutiny for months after the Toronto Star and the U.S. gossip website Gawker reported that someone had been shopping a video that allegedly showed Ford using crack cocaine.
Mayor Ford has denied both the video’s existence and using crack cocaine.
But his denial has not silenced questions from the media and other members of city council about the alleged drug video and the people in his life.
On Tuesday, Coun. Denzil Minnan-Wong said that the mayor should not spend time with anyone involved with "the drug trade," or with apparent connections to that world.
"I think the leader of our civic government has to think long and hard about the friends he likes to associate with," Minnan-Wong said when speaking with reporters on Tuesday.
Ford spent a decade as a city councillor before he was elected as mayor of Toronto three years ago. He has said he intends to run for re-election next year.