Update: We've received an email from Dennis Morris, a gentleman with a hotmail.com email address purporting to be Ford's attorney. Here is the message. We haven't corrected it's formatting.
Greetings;I am a lawyer,and have been contacted by Mayor Ford's office in reference to your indicating you will post a photo of Mayor Ford smoking crack cocaine. Mayor Ford denies such took place,and if such posting occurs,it is false and defamatory,and you will be held legally accountable.In reference to the photo,you wish to publish, Mayor Ford has his photo taken daily,sometimes with others.
If the person you mention is now deceased,it is sad,regardless of his alleged background.
Please govern yourself accordingly.
March 26, 2013 / 21:09
Here's the thing: Rob Ford DOES use crack cocaine. A friend of mine,
her mother is a serious drug addict. Rob Ford regularly goes over to
her house to smoke crack.
The problem is this: The daughter wants to expose Rob Ford's drug
abuse, but her oldschool Italian grandmother won't allow her to "bring
shame" upon the family, long story short. So basically the daughter has
become complicit with the entire thing instead of doing the right
thing. Shame on you Jasmin.
The video in question is up for sale, Gawker editor John Cook told The Globe. While other media outlets are reporting on the video, its authenticity has not been tested.
Calls and messages to the mayor’s spokesman and his brother were not returned. ...
A cellphone video that appears to show Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine is being shopped around Toronto by a group of Somali men involved in the drug trade.
Two Toronto Star reporters have viewed the video three times. It appears to show Ford in a room, sitting in a chair, wearing a white shirt, top buttons open, inhaling from what appears to be a glass crack pipe. Ford is incoherent, trading jibes with an off-camera speaker who goads the clearly impaired Mayor by raising topics including Liberal l-leader Justin Trudeau and the Don Bosco high school football team Ford coaches.
“I’m f-----g right wing,” Ford mutters at one point. “Everyone expects me to be right-wing, I’m…” and his voice trails off.
At another point he is heard calling Trudeau a “fag.” Later in the 90 second video he is asked about the football team and he appears to say (though he is mumbling, “they are just f-----g minorities.”
The Star had no way to verify the video, which appears to clearly show Ford in a well lit room. What follows is an account based on what both reporters viewed on the video screen. Attempts to reach the Mayor, members of his staff to get comment on this story were unsuccessful. ...
A lawyer retained by Ford, Dennis Morris, said that Thursday’s publication by the Gawker website of some details related to the video was “false and defamatory.” Morris told the Star that by viewing a video it is impossible to tell what a person is doing. “How can you indicate what the person is actually doing or smoking,”Morris said.
Ford’s chief of staff, Mark Twohey, would not listen to questions by the Star on Thursday night and abruptly hung up when the Star called.
"I think the laws are absolutely right," he said.
"I think the laws are appropriate and I'm not one to say we should legalize marijuana. I've never said that and I wouldn't want to see that happen."
“It's ridiculous. Just another Toronto Star . . .,” Ford began, and then trailed off. He mumbled something else, then climbed into his Cadillac SUV.
The mayor attended a city council meeting Tuesday morning to formally kill the proposal for a downtown casino, which ends for good what was once a pet project for Mr. Ford.
The meeting was the first time the beleaguered mayor faced his council colleagues since accusations he was videotaped smoking crack cocaine surfaced last week. During his statement in council, the mayor made no mention of the ongoing drug allegations. After the special meeting on a casino, Mr Ford's next official duty at city hall will be in a week's time when his executive committee is scheduled to meet.
Never mind that our colleagues at the Toronto Star went with a damning story about Ford’s alleged crack cocaine use based on a video they did not have in their possession and the word, er, reputation of Somali drug dealers — in other words with very flimsy evidence.
No one bothered either to check into the background of John Cook, the Gawker editor who first posted the video on his gossip website — which prompted the Star to run with the story. He’s described as “left-leaning” and was recently singled out by the Honest Reporting organization in the U.S. for claiming Israelis deliberately kill human shields in Gaza.
Forget about the fact that Star has been out for Ford’s blood from the day he was elected in October of 2010 because, my goodness, his agenda is not theirs and horror of horrors, he’s also fat and sweaty. That didn’t matter, either. The court of public opinion had already sat and Ford was tried and convicted.
I will not comment on the video or whether the allegations are true or not because I have not seen it. I’m not in the habit of relying on the say-so of my competition or Somali drug dealers.
That said, the mayor should respond to the allegations in more detail sooner, rather than later, and either put them to rest or if they are true, take a leave to seek professional help. He wouldn’t be the first politician in Toronto with a drug issue (can we say George Smitherman?)
The mayor’s supporters appear to accept the notion that somehow, the Star either would be involved in such a smear as a faked video or at least a willing dupe in seeing that said smear was spread wide and far.
I can absolutely assure them that this is not what’s happened here. No newspaper on Earth is sufficiently organized to pull off such a scam. Newspapermen like to uncover conspiracies and write righteously about them; we are far too inept to carry one off.
Secondly, though editorially the Star may not be everyone’s cup of tea, and though collectively its coverage of the mayor has been obsessive and occasionally puerile, it has mostly been, well, good.
Donovan and Doolittle are serious, proper journalists. The paper is a serious, proper paper. It has serious, proper editors. The very idea that at the Star, all these good people would be so blinded by their zeal to get Mr. Ford that they would invent or knowingly perpetrate a fraud is frankly not on the table.
(And again, if the video is a fake, why hasn’t Mr. Ford said so? He has missed the several opportunities to do this believably, by the way; were he to later this week or next month denounce the video as a fraud, I’m afraid I will think it’s only because he has managed to buy the damn thing himself.)
He has not been charged with a crime.
He is not under police investigation.
He is not under oath.
He is not obligated to discuss his personal life.
His own time is his own business.
Who he hangs out with or assists is up to him.
How he parties on private property is private.
On not discussing the contents of a video that has not been made public but allegedly contains 90 seconds of “crack smoking,” Mayor Rob Ford got it right Tuesday by choosing to remain silent.
There is no legal requirement for him to address it. And no upside for him to do so.
It doesn’t matter what the experts are advising.
There was a statement written and a plan for him to deliver it at city hall Tuesday.
But in the end, the man himself realized he does not owe anybody an explanation for unsubstantiated allegations from anonymous people who’s own credibility can’t be tested.
If it’s proven beyond a reasonable doubt he was involved in the deadly world of crack cocaine, it will not be deplorable but there may be legitimate questions from justice people he won’t be able to avoid.
However, for now, with there being nothing but hearsay and untested interpretations of a mystery video, Rob Ford is an elected individual in good standing who has a job to do.
In North York, there is only one entrance way to the powerful network of tunnels that eventually leads to the honeycombed tunnel network in downtown Toronto. I have entered these tunnels several times to find myself searching, often times late at night, with a soft glowing lantern. In these tunnels it is so quiet. Very rarely I actually find the hardened white rock substance that can be converted to the powerful gaseous energy that fills my entire body with power and confidence.
I find I get extremely chatty when inhaling this gaseous power. I find that the need to express my opinions, feelings and emotions is so great that I had to come and update my blog.
Mr. Towhey made the demand as pressure mounted on Mr. Ford to respond to reports of a video showing him smoking crack cocaine, a source said. The plan was to quietly put the mayor on a plane to a rehab centre and issue a statement after he was gone.
John: Hey, Bush is now at 37% approval. I feel much less like Kevin McCarthy screaming in traffic. But I wonder what his base is --
John: ... you said that immmediately, and with some authority.
Tyrone: Obama vs. Alan Keyes. Keyes was from out of state, so you can eliminate any established political base; both candidates were black, so you can factor out racism; and Keyes was plainly, obviously, completely crazy. Batshit crazy. Head-trauma crazy. But 27% of the population of Illinois voted for him. They put party identification, personal prejudice, whatever ahead of rational judgement. Hell, even like 5% of Democrats voted for him. That's crazy behaviour. I think you have to assume a 27% Crazification Factor in any population.
In a three-way contest between the mayor, Chow, and radio host John Tory, Chow wins with 42 per cent of the vote to about 27 per cent for Ford and 24 per cent for Tory.
oakstreet said 1 hour ago
just got this via email:
Somalis already in NY – arrived before story broke to not raise ire of border agents at the advice of gawker
Celebrity bankroller angel sweeps in to top up the crackstarter before midnight. (hint: #winning!)
Video is released thurs. Doug Ford is svengali behind everything.
Smith murdered to cover up truth as he was Rob’s crack dealer.
Please tell people on crackstarter to stop obfuscating about donations to addiction centers & video not existing.
Two sources, one with the Toronto police and another involved in politics, tell the Star homicide detectives are now investigating whether that phone originally belonged to 21-year-old Smith. (There is no indication Khattak or the third young man is involved in either the video or the drug trade.)
The source in the mayor’s office said police interviewed Mr. Price about drug dealing in a Dixon Road building.
According to the source, an anonymous caller to the mayor’s office complained about drug dealing at 320 Dixon Rd. The source said that, in accordance with protocol, the tip was passed up to Mark Towhey, then the mayor’s chief of staff. ...
“[The story that Price and Towhey were discussing getting the video from that address] has a little teeny grain of truth,” the source in the mayor’s office said. “The only truth is that the mayor’s office does get information from time to time. We have a moral and a legal obligation to pass this information on. We have passed on no information about a video. That is an out and out lie.”
On the resignations of Mr. Ransom and Mr. Christopoulos, “the writing was on the wall,” the source within Mayor Ford’s office said.
“Earl [Provost, the mayor's acting chief of staff] tried to talk them off the ledge all weekend. Isaac had his shredder going in overdrive, so it was pretty obvious what was going on. The consensus is it’s no big loss, both of them were hiding under their desks most of the time.”
“The question that was put, was – would we be willing to pay for a Rob Ford story, there was some video that they had,” James Wallace said in an interview on Tuesday afternoon. “My understanding is there was no mention of crack, no mention of the mayor smoking. It was a generic inquiry whether we paid for stories, and that there was a video that would be embarrassing to the mayor.”
Noting that would not be unusual – he cited the video showing the mayor emerging from a KFC outlet during a public weight-loss campaign – Mr. Wallace said the editor likely dismissed the potential news value of the offer. ...
Mr. Wallace said no one on his staff has seen the video, but they are actively working to track it down. “The allegations will at some point be either proven wholly or in part,” he said. “There’s a lot of media working on the story now, it’s gone too far down the road now. At some point the facts of the matter will come out.” He added: “If we had the video, if we determined the video was legitimate, we would post it in a New York minute.”
It’s murder and revenue tools this week; death and taxes. With every subsequent revelation, you can hear the gasps of “surely this will shake Ford Nation’s support.” Yet a tracking poll over the weekend showed Ford’s lousy numbers are at least holding steady. Rob Ford was sent to City Hall to hold the line on taxes and disrupt the scene, and that’s what he did. The collateral damage, which mounts day by day, is incidental. The fact that business as usual looks like it might never return doesn’t faze the faithful. The entire premise of Rob Ford was to rail against the inevitable.
The email and phone records of former staffers of Mayor Rob Ford have not been ordered destroyed, a Toronto city hall official says.
“The city has not received a request from anyone in the mayor’s office to destroy records,” director of communications Jackie DeSouza said in an email.
The Star heard concerns at city hall Wednesday afternoon over the potential destruction or hiding of the records of three staffers who resigned or were fired during the ongoing crack cocaine scandal. Sources told the Star the records were in danger after city employees were directed to delete them.
The Star sent a request late Wednesday to the city asking for email and phone records of the three staffers in question for the time period during which the video at the heart of the scandal has been discussed.
Emails sent by city employees, including political staffers, are automatically preserved by the city, though emails related to “personal” business are exempt from freedom of information requests.
Two people familiar with the system said the emails of specific political staffers cannot be permanently erased from the system.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford told senior aides not to worry about a video appearing to show him smoking crack cocaine because he knew where it was, sources told the Star.
Ford then blurted out the address of two 17th-floor units — 1701 and 1703 — at a Dixon Rd. apartment complex, to the shock of staffers at a city hall meeting almost two weeks ago, the sources said.
Hanad Mohamed of Toronto, 23, has been arrested in Alberta and charged with first-degree murder in the March 28 fatal shooting of Anthony Smith in downtown Toronto. ...
Mr. Mohamed was arrested by the RCMP in Fort McMurray, Alta., on Friday, one week after a Canada-wide warrant was issued for his arrest, the Toronto homicide squad said.
Sources familiar with the investigation said detectives have obtained search warrants for Mr. Mohamed’s cellphone and homes and are looking for at least one other suspect.
Mr. Mohamed is expected to be transported to Toronto on Thursday in the custody of the Toronto Police Service, with a court appearance set for Old City Hall on Friday.
I don't know with confidence where the Rob Ford video was or is being stored. It could have been moved repeatedly. But I do know that the entrance to a certain apt complex on Dixon Rd. in Toronto is monitored by security that logs each car entering and requires either an access pass or an invitation from a residence to get in. I presume the entrances are monitored by video as well.
“I don’t even know the guy. Personally, I’ve never even met him,” said Tory House Leader Jim Wilson, when asked Thursday whether he thought Mr. Ford was a good candidate.
Asked if the party would stand behind Mr. Ford, Mr. Wilson said the decision would be up to the local riding association.
“He’s not our candidate. The process will have to be followed,” he said. “We’re the only political party, as you know, that doesn’t parachute candidates one way or the other or handpick them from the leader’s office. So regardless of who you are, you’ll have to go through the local democratic process.”
Spoke with one councillor. They're remaining mostly quiet for a reason: Ford is stepping all over himself and they want him to have all the limelight. Says there's a nuclear option: call special meeting to adjust mayor's office budget to $0.00 to take control out of mayor's hands. No staff, no work gets done. Ford isn't allowed to use his own resources to pay staff. I think it won't need to get to that because by the end of the weekend, Ford won't have any staff anyway.
Barnett Brooks Policy Advisor & Council Relations
Beyer Thomas Special Assistants
Johnston Brian Policy Advisor & Council Relations
Petrujkic Sanjin Senior Policy Advisor & Director of Council Affairs
Provost Earl Council Relations
Towhey Mark Chief of Staff
Christopoulos George Press Secretary
Ransom Isaac Special Assistant - Communications
Fidani Nico Special Assistants
Nejatian Kia Executive Assistant to the Mayor
As each new revelation comes forward and this story gets darker and darker, people hold their breath with each media scrum, waiting for a resignation, or something, from the mayor. These are people who do not know Rob Ford.
I write this on a train speeding—well, strolling at velocity, this being Canada—from my beautiful, troubled home town of Montreal to the super-successful city of Toronto, Canada’s true capital, where, to everyone’s shock, the first full-scale, messy, Louisiana-style, twenty-first-century political scandal in Canada is taking place, to the wonder of the burghers of a town once thought immune to all scandals save those of the meaner, pocket-filling kind.
Rob, you need to stop hanging out with criminals.
You're supposed to rep the city, have you lost your brain?
You brought Toronto shame like the last Boston game.
So impaired, you're not even aware
Put the crack down and take a crack at being the mayor.
The man on the other end of the phone sounds relaxed, friendly. He says his name is Jon, and he is a friend of this tenant. He believes the video may have been stashed inside unit 1703 at some point by a group of young Somali men who “have keys.”
“Characters have been around there,” Jon says. “If [the video] is hidden in the house, I wouldn’t be surprised.” ...
In quick succession, the man issues a number of claims: that, while he does not know its current whereabouts, he has viewed the alleged video and believes it to be authentic; that he has seen other more innocuous footage of Mayor Ford “hanging out” in the neighbourhood; that Somali gang members who support the mayor are angry at the video’s sellers; and that he and his friends briefly considered making a fraudulent crack video starring an acquaintance and Rob Ford lookalike nicknamed “Slurpy,” in an attempt to discredit the real thing. Slurpy, who was not available to be interviewed by the Post, apparently opted out of the phoney video plan, ultimately deciding he did not want to become embroiled in the simmering controversy.
“We don’t like Rob Ford getting screwed,” the man in unit 1703 says. “We wanted to help him… 85% of [young Somalis] are very upset about these guys with the video.” ...
As to what ultimately became of the alleged crack video, the man seems certain of one thing.
“That tape,” he said, “will never surface.”
During his successful mayoralty bid in 2010 Ford remained disciplined and focused, outstripping expectations in debates against rival candidates and, when required—which was often—delivering pitch-perfect mea culpas on the campaign trail. But aides began to suspect Ford was drifting into substance abuse within his first few months in office, according to the former aide. He “stopped listening” to his chief of staff and former campaign manager, Nick Kouvalis, came into work late or not at all, ceased alerting his office to his whereabouts, and refused to be accompanied by handlers from his office. (Famously, Ford would not accept a driver even after getting spotted using a cellphone, flipping the bird and reading from behind the wheel).
Soon top aides began hearing that Ford was buying mickeys of alcohol, purchases he asked his lower-rung staffers to keep secret.
The stories, in short, raise two age-old questions: 1. What do we know? How much certainty does a paper need before going to press with a story, and how much weight should readers attach to it? And 2. What should we know? Where and when is it justified for the press to report on the private behaviour of public figures, now or in the past?
Michael Cooke, editor-in-chief of Toronto Star, told me today Star is working to obtain the Rob Ford video, owners of the video are scared. "The people who have this video, they're running scared right now. They're worried about deportation. They're worried about being charged criminally. But the video is slowly making its way to daylight."
I've been holding back on posting what I'm hearing because my source is now twice removed from Ford's circle but I've heard this so many times in the past couple of days that it may just be worth talking about: Ford has been really upset since Sunday night. Like red faced furious upset, like shouting at his brother upset.
Then today, a separate source linked to The Star said that they believe that there are many more copies of the video than what the seller originally said there were (3).
I'm getting the feeling that the video is making the rounds and that people are copying it. Somebody is going to want those $200K and give John Cook a call or some kid is just going to leak it on YouTube for the thrill of watching the hits shoot into the millions.
Nancy Bonham, head of a major city division, explains that aging water main infrastructure is being replaced, that it is usually a three-month job and should be finished by Friday, June 14.
That could have been communicated to everyone, with a sign on the corner.
The mayor moves closer to the construction area to stare into the empty hole, where he remains until I ask to take a photo with him. Next to him stands another city worker and a police officer.
That’s a total of eight people, one of them the Mayor of North America’s fourth largest city, coming to my house to tell me that the job will be finished next week.
Someone told me that I’d feel differently about the mayor after I met him. But I don’t feel like we’re actually meeting. Ford, gazing into the empty hole, seems as involved as most pedestrians who, stuck at this red light, gaze into the empty hole.
I say that I appreciate all this attention, but ask if there is anything accomplished by so many busy people coming here, that couldn’t have been achieved by a simple phone call.
When Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s name first surfaced on wiretaps in a lengthy guns-and-drugs investigation, the senior command at police headquarters had to figure out how on Earth they would handle it. Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair’s line in the sand was a simple, “I won’t lie.” ...
Project Traveller had genuinely bigger fish to fry when the mayor’s name popped up, like a bad smell, smack in the middle of it. But its mention was nonetheless immediately recognized at police headquarters as potentially explosive. Therein lies the bottom line of the delicate dance in which the chief and the force have been engaged ever since.
So, just to catch you up with all the latest on Toronto’s mayor: The police were reportedly aware of the infamous video of the mayor allegedly smoking crack weeks before it was shown to the Toronto Star; the mayor’s name is also reported to have been mentioned in discussions picked up on police wiretaps, part of a year-long investigation culminating in this week’s massive raid on an apartment complex in the city’s western suburbs — the same one where the mayor is reported to have told staff the video could be found.
Two of the three men pictured with the mayor in a photo taken outside a notorious local drug den inhabited by a high school friend of the mayor were arrested in the raid; the third was shot dead outside a downtown nightclub in March. The house was invaded days after the photo was first published by a man armed with a pipe who beat up the inhabitants. Oh, and the city’s police chief refuses to say whether the mayor is under criminal investigation.
Now for the bad news. If an election were held today, the mayor would have a good shot at re-election. As of late May, more than a week after the story of the alleged crack video broke, Rob Ford still had the approval of 42% of Toronto voters. In a probable four- or five-person race, that would very likely be enough to win.
Project Traveller — which was never about Rob Ford but tripped over him in its year-long investigative odyssey towards massive pre-dawn drug and gun raids Thursday — has turned up the glare on some very dark corners of the mayor’s helter-skelter life. ...
That Windsor Rd. address, the Star has learned, was included on search warrants sworn out by police before the multi-jurisdiction raids were launched in Toronto, Windsor (the city) and Edmonton. Police never went to the house on Thursday, but that doesn’t mean they hadn’t served the warrant earlier. At least one other address listed in the warrants was visited by police last Sunday — they simply knocked on the door rather than kicked in the door.
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