In his first interview since the latest wave of drug- and gang-related allegations, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford held steady in his view that he has the support of Toronto voters, and denied using heroin or negotiating with drug dealers.
Ford appeared on a Washington FAN 106.7 sports talk radio show to give his predictions for this weekend’s NFL games, a weekly segment the Sports Junkies show announced this week.
In addition to football, the hosts asked him about wiretaps related to Project Brazen 2, a police surveillance effort from last spring involving the mayor, his friend and driver Alexander Lisi, also known as Sandro, and various members of the Dixon Bloods, a gang in the Toronto suburb of Rexdale.
The mayor said allegations in the wiretaps that he used heroin and offered gang members $5,000 and a car for a video of him smoking crack are “outright lies”.
“I just focus on my job. All the other stuff is nonsense,” says Ford. "I'm really humbled by all the support. I have a lot of supporters in Toronto."
Ford 'can't wait for the election'
Ford repeated lines he has said in the past about his accomplishments in City Hall, including his claim that he saved the city $1 billion, built a subway and made labour peace.
"I just can't wait for the election in October," Ford continued in his brief remarks about his mayoralty.
Ford, who had much of his powers as mayor stripped from him recently by council, repeated his support for the hometown Washington Redskins keeping their name, even as decades of pressure mount to change the name because of the perceived derogatory nature of the team's nickname.
The hosts of the sports show were complimentary to Ford, saying he was brave for coming on the radio.
"I'm obsessed with football, and every time there is a football game I analyze it to the Nth degree," said Ford, adding that his wife, Renata, is also a fan and watches games with him.
On the football front, Ford picked the San Francisco 49ers, Washington, the Indianapolis Colts and the Buffalo Bills to win this weekend.