toronto now magazine

Morning Brew: Man beaten in jail linked to Ford, lawyer to plead for crack video release, mayor hires a driver, no new Tasers, and Jim Flaherty chokes up over Ford saga

A former common-law spouse of Rob Ford's sister Kelly was "viciously attacked and severely beaten" in jail because he was a "bother" to the mayor, the Toronto Sun reports. Speaking at a sentencing hearing, Justice Paul French said Scott MacIntyre was the target of the "jailhouse justice" attack after he sent a threatening letter to Kathy Ford and threatened to speak to the media about the Ford family.

The lawyer for Mohammad Khattak, one of the men in that photograph with Rob Ford, will be in court today to ask for the release of the remaining two videos. Daniel Brown will argue the video files are "relevant disclosure" and will help his client's defence at his upcoming trial on drug and gun charges. It's not clear if Brown would let the public see the videos.

Rob Ford's mom says her son needs to "smarten up" but insists he's not a drug addict. Diane Ford and Kathy Ford, Rob's sister, spoke with CP24's Stephen LeDrew yesterday from her Etobicoke home. The interview was recorded shortly before the Toronto Star released video of Ford in terrifying rage. "There's nothing he can't recover from, and he will recover," Kathy said.

Meanwhile, Ford has hired a driver and a new staffer. The mayor was seen in the passenger seat of his Cadillac Escalade as he left work yesterday. The man behind the wheel was Jerry Agyemang, a member of the security team at City Hall. The other hire is a junior staffer who will help pad out the ranks following the departure of policy adviser Brooks Barnett.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty choked up when asked about Rob Ford's troubles yesterday. When asked what the mayor should do, Flaherty, a friend of the Ford family, hesitated for a long time and appeared to be fighting back tears. "The mayor has to make his own decision," he said.

Toronto police won't be expanding the use of Tasers. The police board voted unanimously against the measure during yesterday's budget discussions. Chief Bill Blair had hoped to put the weapons in the hands of more officers in the wake of the Sammy Yatim shooting.

Finally, Costco wants to build a fourth Toronto store on the site of the old Coca-Cola headquarters in Thorncliffe Park. Architectural experts want the three-storey building preserved and some local residents are concerned about the proliferation of big box stores. City council adopted a report recommending the site be added to the inventory of heritage properties in May. Should Toronto do more to protect its modernist office buildings?


Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Image: Jason Cook/blogTO Flickr pool.

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