Ford says OxyContin call a good deed gone wrong
Published Thursday, June 17, 2010 7:14PM EDT
Mayoral candidate Coun. Rob Ford said he agreed to help a man illicitly obtain a painkiller in order to get that person off the phone, but never followed through.
"All I have ever done in 10 years of politics is return people's calls and try to help out every single person. Unfortunately, this is a good deed that has gone horribly wrong," Ford told a Thursday news conference.
"His tenor became threatening. I began to fear for my family. He clearly said on the tape that he could see my house. In my opinion, this person needs help."
The municipal political veteran, who represents Ward 2 (Etobicoke North) said he has asked the police to investigate the man for criminal harassment. Ford added that if one reviews the transcript, they could see he had tried numerous times to end the conversation.
Dieter Doneit-Henderson released a transcript of a more than 50-minutes-long telephone conversation he'd had with Ford about obtaining OxyContin, a powerful painkiller that can be highly addictive.
He scoffed at the notion he had threatened Ford.
"What would that accomplish exactly, if you're trying to find a doctor and he's promised to try and help you with that?" he told CTV Toronto.
On June 4, the HIV-positive man, whom Ford had apologized to last month after some notorious 2006 comments about AIDS became an issue, asked Ford to get him the painkiller because his doctors had cut him off.
During his May 10 meeting with Ford, the candidate promised to find a doctor for Doneit-Henderson and the man's husband, according to the Toronto Star. Both are HIV-positive and have other health issues.
"Can you find OxyContin for me, Rob?" Doneit-Henderson said in the recorded June 4 conversation.
"I'll try. I'll try," the councillor responded. "I don't know this s--t but I'll try to f-----g find it."
On Thursday, Ford said he "said what I needed to say to get the person off the phone without provoking him."
Ford said Etobicoke MPP Donna Cansfield has also complained to police about the nature of Doneit-Henderson's correspondence with her.
Ford also claimed to feel like he was set up, without naming who he thinks is involved.
"There are people out there that will do everything in their power to make sure that I'm not mayor of this great city," Ford said, but added he didn't want to make any accusations.
"Who tapes phone calls?" he asked rhetorically.
He intends to continue giving out his phone number and personally returning calls.
With a report from CTV Toronto's Natalie Johnson
Toronto mayoral candidate Rob Ford speaks to reporters during a press conference, Thursday, June 14, 2010