Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, who has admitted to using crack cocaine, allegedly offered C$5,000 ($4,682) and a car to a gang member for a video showing the mayor smoking the drug, according to court documents.
The documents, based on wiretaps of conversations between alleged gang members as part of a police drug investigation, also indicate the video may have been a motive behind the killing of Anthony Smith, one of three men photographed with Ford outside what police have said is a drug house.
The court documents are the same ones released by an Ontario court in the past two months, though many of the details had been redacted until now. The allegations have not been proved in court, and Mayor Ford has not been charged.
The allegations in the documents are “an outright lie” Ford said today while appearing as a guest on “The Sports Junkies” radio show in Washington.
“Our job is to put evidence before the courts and we’ve done that,” Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair told reporters yesterday, in an interview broadcast on CP24 television.
Blair said there are a number of “current prosecutions” which have yet to take place and further discussion of the evidence will take place in court.
“This is further evidence that this man needs help,” Joe Mihevc, a city councilor, said yesterday when asked about the new allegations against Ford.
Ford, who was stripped of many of his powers by city council last month, didn’t immediately respond to a call seeking comment today.
In a May 18 interview with Toronto police, Mark Towhey, the mayor’s former chief of staff, told police he had a conversation with David Price, a former director of organization and logistics for the mayor. Price said he thought the video of Ford allegedly smoking cocaine, which was contained on a cell phone, was linked to Smith’s death.
“Price disclosed that the cell phone containing the recording of interest belonged to the deceased (Anthony Smith) and that was the motive for his murder,” Towhey told police, according to the document. Police dismissed this allegation, according to the documents released yesterday.
Information from the investigation, code-named Project Traveller, discounted the video as a motive for the murder, the documents show.
“This theory is not correct based on previous interceptions relevant to the murder of Smith,” the document states.
The police wiretaps disclosed in the documents also contain allegations, based on the conversations between alleged gang members, that there are pictures of Ford smoking “hezza” a slang term for heroin, according to Urbandictionary.com.
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