Toronto mayor Rob Ford, whom multiple reporters have seen on tape smoking crack, told select members of his staff not to worry because he knew the exact location of the video, the Toronto Star reports today. The day after Gawker alerted the world to the existence of the crack-smoking clip, Ford held an “unusual” meeting in which he “blurted out the address of two 17th-floor units — 1701 and 1703 — at a Dixon Rd. apartment complex,” citing “our sources.” (He told the public “there’s no video.”) Although Gawker then raised $200,000 to buy the recording, the site has lost contact with the drug dealers selling it, all while an investigation into a murder targeting the suspected creator of the tape is ramping up. Things do not look good for Mayor Ford.
Earlier this week, we learned that the police were investigating whether 21-year-old Anthony Smith — who is pictured with a sweaty and disheveled Ford above and was killed days before Gawker and the Star were contacted about the tape — originally owned the cell phone that took the crack video. Today, the Globe and Mail reports that a suspect in Smith’s killing was arrested last Friday, joining 23-year-old Nisar Hashimi, who was arrested on April 4 and charged with first-degree murder in the case. Toronto police are searching for a third suspect and are planning a new conference today that could potentially blow this convoluted saga open.
Not present at the meeting in which Ford divulged the location of the tape (“to the shock of staffers”) was his then chief of staff Mark Towhey, who was fired days later and went to the police. (Two additional people who were present resigned Monday “on principle.”) When asked after the meeting, “hypothetically,” what the staff should do about the video by operations and logistics director David Price, Towhey reportedly said, “We’re not getting the fucking thing!” According to the Star, “His concern was that, if a video existed, someone could be killed for it.”