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'He needs to step down': Councillor Ford on Police Chief Bill Blair

By Don Peat, Shawn Jeffords, QMIAgency

Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair. (Reuters file)

Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair. (Reuters file)

TORONTO - 

Ford Nation declared war on Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair Tuesday.

Councillor Doug Ford unleashed a war of words on Blair in a press conference at City Hall and in a flurry of radio interviews just hours before Mayor Rob Ford admitted he’s smoked crack cocaine.

Blair refused to respond to Ford’s personal attack and vowed police will keep doing their jobs “without fear and without favour.”

Blair revealed last Thursday that investigators are now in possession of the Rob Ford crack video – along with another video – and confirmed police had arrested alleged drug dealer Sandro Lisi, Ford’s friend and occasional driver, for extortion.

Court documents showed Lisi is accused of extorting two men to deliver the notorious video.

The mayor’s brother came out Tuesday promising to file a complaint with the Ontario Independent Police Review Director over Blair’s comments and urged him to step down during the investigation.

“We have the most political police chief we’ve ever seen,” Doug Ford said. “The police chief believes he is the judge, jury and executioner. In my opinion, this creates a bias towards the mayor, it creates a bias towards Sandro Lisi’s case. This compromises the chief.”

Ford added he’ll also be filing a complaint with the Toronto Police Services Board over board member Andy Pringle taking a fishing trip with Blair.

“We cannot have a police board member being the police chief’s fishing buddy,” Ford said, adding Pringle should step down.

Asked why he’s “setting off a war” with the chief, Ford said he won’t be intimidated by the chief.

“The police chief doesn’t intimidate me. I’m the only one with political will that will stand here and hold the police chief to account,” Ford said. “There can’t be a rule for the mayor and one for the police chief.

“We don’t live in a police state,” he added.

Blair maintained Tuesday that he wouldn’t respond to personal attacks.

“I am not going to respond to any personal attacks and we are going to keep doing our jobs,” adding he was making a “sincere effort” during Thursday’s press conference to not offer an opinion and answered a specific question.

Toronto Police Services Board Chair Alok Mukherjee issued a statement acknowledging Ford’s intention to file complaints.

“There are clear processes in place to address these matters,” Mukherjee said. “On behalf of the board, I assure the community that these processes are followed and will be followed in any case where complaints have been received about the conduct of either the chief or board members.”

Most councillors reacted with disgust to Ford’s attack on the chief.

Councillor Gloria Lindsay Luby, a former police board chair, stressed Blair is “doing all the right things” and suggested councillor Ford should resign for “taking such shots.”

“I want to see some sense and sensibility come to this City Hall,” Lindsay Luby said.

Councillor Pam McConnell predicted Ford’s comments will likely launch several integrity commissioner complaints.

“Some of the statements that are being made, they’re wild,” McConnell said.

Poll

Should there be an investigation into Police Chief Bill Blair's actions regarding Mayor Rob Ford?


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