The Rob Ford saga has taken a big lurch forward with the release of police wiretap files detailing how the Toronto mayor partied and took drugs with gang members—and how his life got pretty complicated as a result. Key allegations from the police files, as detailed by the National Post, Globe and Mail, and Toronto Star:
- The infamous video of Ford smoking crack was apparently set up by gang members who tried to blackmail him—and the mayor offered them "$5,000 and a car" for it. The offer was rejected and the owner said he planned to ask for $150,000—which he could get from media outlets if the mayor didn't pay up. It's not clear whether he did: The original video's whereabouts are unknown, but police recovered a copy from a hard drive. (Ford denies trying to buy the video, calling the latest allegations "an outright lie.")
- Drug dealers may have had a lot more than the video to blackmail Ford with: One gang member boasts that there are photos of the mayor in "a lot of f---ed up situations," using drugs including heroin, crack, and marijuana.
- When news reports on the crack video's existence appeared, one of the mayor's top aides began a frantic search and managed to track down the house where a photo showed Ford posing with drug dealers. Unknown intruders attacked the house's occupants days later, though the wiretap files do not link the aide to the attack.
- After Ford apparently lost his cell phone at a crack house, a friend of the mayor's provided an unknown quantity of marijuana to secure its return. During negotiations, gang members made it clear that they didn't fear threats of police pressure because of their photos of the mayor taking drugs.
- In a bright spot for Ford, he does not appear to be linked to a murder: One of the gang members he posed with was gunned down outside a nightclub earlier this year, but the police report dismisses any link to the crack video.
- The latest allegations have left many people wondering why no charges were ever laid against the mayor. "I think any ordinary person who participated in this kind of activity, if it’s founded, would find themselves in very serious trouble," a city councilor says.
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