TORONTO, May 29 (UPI) -- Workers in the office of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford are resisting an order to destroy email and telephone records, The Toronto Star reported Wednesday.
The report did not say who issued the order, and top officials in Ford's office declined to discuss the matter, the newspaper said.
Citing sources it did not identify, the Star said destruction of the records could mean the loss of "evidence of attempts" to locate and take possession of a cellphone video in which Ford appears to be smoking from a crack cocaine pipe and uses homophobic and racist slurs.
Ford has denied using crack and said Sunday "there's no video."
Two Star reporters said they viewed the video May 3 at the invitation of a group of Somali men who had been offering to sell it to the media.
The electronic records, held on the City Hall server, belong to three former Ford staff members -- including Mark Towhey, who was fired as chief of staff after telling Ford to go to rehab, and George Christopolous and Isaac Ransom, who resigned Monday after superiors rejected their advice on handling the matter publicly, the Star said.
Acting Chief of Staff Earl Provost told a reporter to ask the mayor's press secretary about the order to destroy emails and the press secretary, Sunny Petrujkic, declined to answer a question on the matter.
The Star said it learned this week there had been discussions in the mayor's office about the video's whereabouts, with Towhey telling Ford's logistic chief David Price the matter should be reported to police.
Price said the video may have been why Anthony Smith, a person seen in a photo with Ford, was killed soon after news of the video surfaced, sources told the Star.