Toronto Police Chief Blair Seeks OPP Oversight over Rob Ford Investigation

Police Chief Bill Blair has requested The Ontario Provincial Police to assume an “oversight role” of the Toronto Police Service’s investigation into Toronto Mayor Rob Ford. Chief Blair officially sought help from OPP Commissioner, Chris Lewis, to take the role for the sake of “avoiding the distractions that have assumed such recent prominence.” In a statement issued by the Chief Blair on Wednesday, he stated that “the only public interest here is the continued investigation, without fear or favour, into evidence of possible criminality.”

Consequently, the OPP will now be overseeing Project Brazen 2, i.e. an ongoing Toronto investigation targeting both Mayor Ford and his friend, alleged drug dealer Alessandro Lisi. Toronto Police spokesperson, Mark Pugash, revealed that the same team of Toronto Police investigators, headed by Detective Sergeant Gary Giroux, will continue to lead the investigation. However, they will now be reporting to OPP leadership, rather than the TPS.

Mr. Pugash confessed that Chief Blair initially approached Commissioner Lewis on Tuesday about overseeing the investigation, but the issue was resolved later on Wednesday. According to him, the main motivation behind the decision was to avoid the risk of tainting any case that will come before the courts. Mr. Pugash alleged that “we’ve seen a significant increase in the level of personal attacks, and it’s not about personal attacks.” He added “but if there’s even the slightest suggestion that a personal attack may impede or damage a case in front of the courts, we will err on the side of caution.”

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