TORONTO -- A former high-ranking Ontario Provincial Police officer is suing Premier Doug Ford for defamation.

Brad Blair, who was fired earlier this month, filed the $5-million lawsuit over comments by the premier that Blair had violated the Police Services Act.

Ford's comments came after Blair asked the courts to force the provincial ombudsman to investigate the appointment of a long-time friend of the premier as OPP commissioner, raising concerns about political interference.

The government has said that the decision to fire Blair came from the public service because Blair released confidential OPP information through his court filings.

Blair's lawyer says in the defamation lawsuit that Blair has never received notice of a complaint under the Police Services Act, let alone any findings that he violated it, and he alleges that the premier's words would lead an average person to believe Blair is someone who breaks the law.

A spokesman for Ford says the premier will be responding to the lawsuit through his legal counsel.