TORONTO -- Drugs, lies and videotape.
And herein another lesson on why it is so dangerous for a mayor to be doing crack -- and maybe even heroin -- with alleged gangsters: because it makes you vulnerable to blackmail when they catch you in the act.
According to explosive intercepted conversations contained in court documents released late Wednesday, his alleged gangster friends were claiming a man believed to be Mayor Rob Ford was scrambling to get hold of that infamous crack video shot in February by offering them $5,000 and a car at least six weeks before news of the cellphone footage hit the media.
The Dixon City Bloods members weren't impressed by the offer and were holding out for at least $100,000 or they were going to shop it to the media, which they eventually tried to do in May. When those efforts made shocking headlines on May 17, the mayor waited a week before finally insisting to all and sundry that "I cannot comment on a video that I have never seen or does not exist."
But that's not all his pals had on the mayor, according to the allegations contained in Toronto Police wiretap summaries unsealed Wednesday afternoon after an uncontested ruling by Justice Ian Nordheimer. The men boasted that they had "so much pictures of Rob Ford doing the hezza" -- thought to be slang for heroin. And they said they weren't about to be intimidated by any threats from the mayor because they had so much dirt on him.
Talk about your poster boy for blackmail.