Many new allegations involving Toronto Mayor Rob Ford surfaced out of Wednesday’s release of a nearly 500-page police document, including discussions of blackmail, even more drug use, and links to suspected gang members.
Here are the five new things we learned from the document release, and what the Mayor has said about the allegations so far:
Mayor Ford may have tried to buy the crack video
Over a month and a half before news reports of the crack video surfaced, Mohamad Siad, the alleged video seller and Siyadin Abdi, one of the men arrested in the Project Traveller investigation, talked over the phone in late March about plans to sell the tape. “Remember that day he said that in front of me?” Mr. Siad asked. “Ya, he said I’ll give you five thousand and a car,” Mr. Abdi replied.
Investigators noted that they believed this to mean that Mayor Ford had offered to buy the video.
Mayor Ford: In an interview with Washington, D.C. radio station 106.7 Thursday, Mayor Ford called the allegation that he’d tried to buy the video “an outright lie.” He declined to elaborate.
Alleged gang members talked about blackmailing Mayor Ford over drugs
At the end of Mr. Abdi and Mr. Siad’s conversation about the video in March, Mr. Siad said he planned on going to see Mayor Ford to ask for “100 or 150” (believed to mean $100,000 or $150,000).
In April, Abdullahi Harun, one of the accused in Project Traveller, was overheard in a wiretap conversation saying he had photos of Mayor Ford using drugs. His friend responded to tell him to take a picture of it “because of what it would be worth.”
About a month later, Liban Siyad, one of the accused in Project Traveller, was overhead in a wiretap conversation talking about how he has pictures of Mayor Ford “on a pipe” (believed to be a crack pipe) and “on a lot of f–-ed up situations,” and believed these pictures insulated him from threats.
Mayor Ford: Mr. Ford has not responded in any detail to the newest allegations, though his lawyer Dennis Morris told The Toronto Sun Thursday morning the wiretap conversations amount to “noise” and “gossip.”
“It’s A talking to B talking to C. Heck, there could be lots of people talking about Rob Ford right now,” he said.
New allegations of drug use
Previous allegations about drug use involving the Mayor included former staffers’ suspicions that he may have used cocaine, crack cocaine, oxycontin and marijuana. But information released Wednesday adds a new drug to the list: heroin.
Mr. Harun was overhead by police on the phone saying he has “so much pictures of Rob Ford doing the hezza.” ‘Hezza’ is a slang term for heroin.
Mr. Ford has said in recent interviews that he has not smoked crack cocaine in over a year, but in April of this year, Mr. Siad is overheard by police saying “Rob Ford was smoking his rocks today.” Police have also said recently that they believe the crack video was filmed in February.
Mayor Ford: When asked by reporters Wednesday evening whether he had ever used heroin, Mayor Ford laughed and did not respond.
The alleged video seller was kidnapped because of the video
Two weeks after the first reports of the crack video, police intercepted phone calls between Mr. Abdi and Abdinaim Hussein, two of the accused in Project Traveller, talking about how Mr. Abdi and another man, Ahmed Farah, had “kidnapped” Mr. Siad.
Investigators believe the kidnapping was related to the video.
“Abdi said that they saw Siad’s car and they took him back to the building,” the police document states. “They talked to Siad about ‘the video.’ Siad was crying, saying he destroyed the video and his family is in trouble. Abdi told Siad that if he saw him in Dixon he would kill him.”
About an hour later, Mr. Siad was released. “You guys are stupid, you should have really hurt him,” Mr. Hussein later told Mr. Abdi.
Mayor Ford’s response: Until about a month ago, Mayor Ford had, for months, refused to comment on the crack video and suggested it did not exist. “I can’t comment on a video I have never seen or does not exist,” he said.
Even after Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair confirmed the video’s existence in later October, and after Mayor Ford admitted to having smoked crack cocaine, he continued to say that he knew nothing about the video or its contents.
Marijuana exchanged for Mayor Ford’s lost cellphone
According to the police document, Mayor Ford lost his cellphone on April 20, the same day alleged gang members say they brought drugs to the mayor. Those same alleged gang members are later heard by police discussing the mayor’s phone, which they say they have in their possession.
Alessandro Lisi, the mayor’s friend and an alleged drug dealer, calls Mr. Siyad and threatens to “put the heat on Dixon” if the cellphone isn’t returned. Later that day, the pair meet and Mr. Ford’s cellphone is returned to Mr. Lisi. Afterward, Mr. Siyad is heard on the phone saying he received "1.5 of 'kush'" (marijuana) from Mr. Lisi.
Mayor Ford’s response: Mr. Ford has not responded directly to these allegations. But the police document says that Mayor Ford told staffers that the phone went missing during a park cleanup in Etobicoke, after sliding off the hood of his SUV.
Follow me on Twitter @annhui