TORONTO — Alleged drug dealer Sandro Lisi was praised as "an exemplary member" of Mayor Rob Ford's campaign team in a character reference letter released Tuesday morning by a Superior Court judge.
In the letter, Ford said Lisi volunteered for his 2010 election campaign.
“He was an exemplary member of my campaign team, where he displayed exceptional leadership skills and worked hard both in and out of the campaign office,” Ford write.
The letter was filed as an exhibit in June this year when Lisi was sentenced for threatening to kill his girlfriend.
Justice Jane Kelly ordered the exhibit could be released to the media after the Toronto Star applied for it.
"Mr. Lisi has demonstrated to myself that he has a great work ethic and has always shown tact and diplomacy. I have known Mr. Lisi for several years, and he has always conducted himself in a courteous and polite manner," wrote Ford on his city of Toronto letterhead. "I would be pleased to provide him with a reference."
Ford didn't answer a question about the letter as he walked in his office Tuesday at noon.
Lisi — who is Ford's friend and occasional driver and is now on bail facing marijuana trafficking charges — is appealing his threatening conviction against his girlfriend of one year.
Three weeks ago, a friend of Lisi told QMI Agency he and another man tried unsuccessfully to recover a video allegedly showing the mayor smoking crack.
Ford has denied the existence of the video.
- with files from Don Peat