Edward Prutschi on Ford’s Decision Not to Comment

Details about Project Brazen 2, a four month investigation triggered by reports that there was a video that allegedly showed Rob Ford smoking a crack pipe, are contained in a police document that is related to a legal case against Ford’s close associate, Alexander Lisi. Numerous allegations have been made against Lisi but have yet to be proven in court. Lisi has been charged with a single count of extortion in addition to previous drug-related charges and appeared in court on Friday.

The 400-plus page document was presented before a judge by the police to obtain a search warrant on drug charges. Apparently to legal experts who have analyzed the court information already released, the documents are rife with bombshells that implicate  Rob Ford in some suspicious activities. Some in the press have linked the strange activity by the Toronto Mayor, outlined in the police document, to a potential cover-up of the embarrassing video that would be politically undermining, although this has yet to be substantiated.

Tensions between Rob Ford and Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair have spilled-over with Ford’s lawyer, Dennis Morris, accusing Bill Blair of having a political agenda and having demonized his client in the court of public opinion. Blair shook Canada’s largest city with an official announcement that Toronto police have recovered a video of Rob Ford that is consistent with a report in May that there is a video that shows the Toronto mayor of smoking what appears to be a crack pipe. Ford had previously denied the existence of the infamous video many times.

While Blair came short of confirming reports that Ford is in fact smoking what appears to be a crack pipe, he did say that Ford appear in the video and that he was personally disappointed by the mayor’s beahviour. Blair also told the press that the mayor has not been questioned yet, but left the possibility of interviewing the mayor open-ended.

Edward Prutschi, a legal analyst who regularly appears in Canada’s national media and criminal lawyer, was a guest on CTV News to discuss Rob Ford’s case and why the mayor has refused to publicly comment on the rampant allegations. Mr. Prutschi is first asked why Rob Ford not yet commented on this case, and why can’t he clear the air by addressing the many questions that Torontonians have. Mr. Prutschi mentions that while he has the right to comment, it is sound legal advice for him not to comment on what has transpired. As a lawyer who has defended many high-profile cases, Mr. Prutschi always advises his clients that the less they say, the easier it is to defend them. Mr. Prutschi however is cognizant that Ford has to strike a balance between being involved in potential criminal concerns and fulfilling his obligations as a public and political figure, which can be difficult.

Mr. Prutschi is then asked why did the police, who were trailing Lisi for four months, and saw first-hand suspicious activities from Ford, fail to immediately question or arrest him. Mr. Prutschi suggests that we need to look at this from a macro-level and from the police’s perspective. The police are primarily concerned with trying to break-up a potentially extensive gun and drug trafficking network. Their priorities are not focused on trying to expose and embarrass Toronto’s mayor with potentially minor infractions like crack cocaine possession. The police do not want to jeopardize their investigation of high-level criminal activity to ‘politically-out’ mayor Ford because doing so might negatively impact their broader investigation.


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