Gotta ask: what is it with our mayor and Italian thugs still living in their moms' basements? Perhaps I've been watching too many episodes of The Sopranos, but I smell a rat. Several, actually.
And they're beginning to squeak about the lowlife company - I mean friends - Rob Ford keeps.
Meet Alessandro "Sandro" Lisi, the mayor's sometime chauffeur and (bada boom) drug dealer, according to the latest chapter writ in the Saturday Star on the ongoing Ford crack drama.
Lisi is what might be referred to in the vernacular as a piece of work, owing mostly to a number of assault and threatening-death raps involving three different women.
Seems he's now come into the cops' crosshairs over efforts by the mayor's office to retrieve that incriminating video allegedly showing Rob sucking on a crack pipe but which the mayor insists doesn't exist.
Lisi was the mysterious man in the black Range Rover waiting outside Ford's house with the mayor's so-called head of logistics, David Price, the morning the crack story broke.
If we're to believe the Star, Lisi paid a visit shortly thereafter to the now famous Windsor Road address of another high school buddy's of Ford's, Fabio Basso, where the crack video may have been shot. That visit allegedly took place the day before a home invasion at the bungalow that ended with Basso, his mother and sister being assaulted.
To recap: it was also at the Basso address that the mayor was photographed with murder victim Anthony Smith and a couple of other alleged members of the Dixon City Bloods.
For those keeping score, then, alleged attempts by Ford's peeps to retrieve the video in question may also be related to a shooting incident at the Dixon high-rises where police later conducted a massive raid. And to the recent stabbing of another gangbanger, Mohamed Siad, at the Don Jail.
Speaking of jails, the mayor appears to have attempted to pay an after-hours visit to another high school pal, Bruno Bellissimo, at the Metro West Detention Centre in March. That would have been around the time rumours first started swirling about the Ford video and attempts by the gangbangers who had it to sell it to the Ford family before it was offered to various media outlets.
Bellissimo brags to friends in the Star's exposé about the mayor having given him a debit card good for withdrawals of up to $500 a day - for what it's unclear.
The noose seems to be tightening.
But in the summer swoon (there are no meetings scheduled at City Hall), it's been easy for the mayor to evade questions about the latest allegations without the usual media hordes camped outside his office.
You'd think the new allegations and what's already known of the mayor's fraternizing with gunrunners and drug dealers would be enough to renew calls for his removal - at least until the smoke clears. But from our political leaders there was only stoney silence.
Perhaps they're confident the police have matters in hand.
The Star's August 17 story seems the clearest sign in a while that the cops are actually on the Ford case. It refers to police probing not just the cast of unusual characters around Ford, but "other activities of the mayor."
However, save for what the city's major news orgs have been able to uncover, we don't know where the Ford crack investigation is headed. Chief Blair's refusal to say whether Ford is under investigation hasn't helped. Contrast his handling of Ford, for example, with the other politically charged matter dominating headlines, the police shooting death of Sammy Yatim.
There, the police department and the chief's overseers on the Police Services Board have bent over backwards to assure the public that justice will be done.
Is it going to take protests in the streets to hold Ford accountable?