David Price was the newly hired director of logistics in Rob Ford's office when it was revealed by Gawker that people in Toronto were trying to sell a tape showing the mayor smoking crack.
Price has remained silent about what it was like to be part of the mayor's inner circle when the crack tape scandal exploded in May 2013. Today the National Post published an in-depth story about him, based on several interviews with Price.
Price told the Post's Peter Kuitenbrouwer that the scandal caused Rob Ford to drink during the workday. He watched as the mayor of Canada's largest city "slid off the cliff":
For the first six weeks, he was not drinking every day," price said. "It wasn't until (news of a crack tape) hit the fan May 16 (2013) when he sort of slid off the cliff. From then on he was frequently not sober during the day."
Before the crack tape hit the news, Price said he had questioned Rob Ford about his drinking. He knew the mayor had been accused of being drunk at a public event. Price told the Post he wanted to be sure Ford was not drinking on the job before he signed on.
Rob was really emotional. He was flipping out. I questioned him face to face, and he swore up and down that he wasn't drinking every day. So it's at that point that I joined."
When the crack scandal was at its height, Price drew attention for a range of public outbursts that led to his suspension from his job in the mayor's office. He later lost his job after Mayor Rob Ford's office budget was cut.
Price was also alleged by The Globe And Mail to have been "a partner in a hash-dealing enterprise in the 1980s headed by the mayor's brother, Councillor Doug Ford."
Price and the elder Ford brother played high school football together. Price was previously Doug Ford's campaign manager, and has raised money for Ford campaigns. He's known the Ford brothers since they were in their teens.
In the interview, Price offered an insider's look at the family dynamics at the heart of the Ford political machine:
Rob's got an inferiority complex. Doug's his older brother. Doug and I won two football championships and he was forever living that one down. Rob won once when he was in junior and never when he was in senior. He got to the finals four times, never won. The fact that Doug might have done what he couldn't do just didn't sit well with him at all.
The interview is an attempt for Price to try and rehabilitate his image. He said he still sees Doug Ford regularly and that they remain friends. Not surprisingly, he regrets joining Rob Ford's office in the spring of 2013.
At the time I joined if I knew the depths of depravity that Rob was involved with, alcohol and substance abuse on a daily basis, I definitely would not have joined his employ.
As for the former mayor, he was recently discharged from hospital after undergoing surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from his abdomen. Upon his release, he went straight to city hall, where he remains a city councillor.
Craig Silverman is Media Editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto.
Contact Craig Silverman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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