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Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Admits to Crack Cocaine Use

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford admitted to reporters that he has smoked crack cocaine, but says he will not step down.

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Toronto Mayor Rob Ford

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford (Courtesy: City of Toronto)

TORONTO, Ontario (CNN)-

The salacious allegations against Toronto Mayor Rob Ford took a lewd turn Thursday when the embattled leader made a vulgar reference on camera about oral sex and, then, moments later, apologized publicly.

In his apology, Ford said he had been under “tremendous, tremendous stress.”

Ford was apparently referring to graphic language he used in denying a female staffer’s accusation that he sought to perform oral sex.

In another development about the controversial mayor, he and his brother Doug, who’s also a member of the Toronto City Council, will begin broadcasting their own TV show on Canada’s Sun News Network on Monday, the brother confirmed to CNN.

Their “Ford Nation” show will air Monday nights and picks up where the two brothers left off on their talk radio show, which ended its run last week, the network said on its website. A headline on that site posed the question, “Canada’s Ultimate Reality Show?”

The website quoted Councilor Doug Ford saying about the mayor, “Rob is like Howard Stern or Rush Limbaugh” and “You just never know what he is going to say.”

The network continued: “The mayor and his brother, will have the opportunity to express their views on events past and future. News networks like CNN regularly broadcast his latest utterings.

“Mayor Ford seems to be in a no-holds-barred mode. There is no filter. There is no careful treading.”

Critics of Sun News Network have described its conservatism as “Fox News North,” according to a story about its launch in 2011 by the Toronto Globe and Mail.

Councilor Ford came to his brother’s defense Wednesday on the floor of the city council. But the council voted Wednesday to ask Mayor Ford to take a leave of absence, following his admission last week that he had smoked crack cocaine. Mayor Ford also recently confessed to having purchased illegal drugs in the past two years, while he was in office.

But Mayor Ford has steadfastly refused to step down.

Also Thursday, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said she was disturbed by recent events involving the Toronto mayor, and while it’s not the province’s role to impose its preferences on a city’s government, the province would respond and provide new tools to the Toronto City Council if it indicated it needs help to carry out its duties, Wynne said.

If so, she would consult other parties to see what could be done so that partisan politics wouldn’t be involved, she said.

Meanwhile, in addressing the ongoing controversy Thursday, Mayor Ford acknowledged that he had drunk alcohol in excess, but said he was receiving support from a team of health care professionals.

“I am taking accountability and receiving advice from people with expertise,” he said. “I do not want to comment on the particulars of this support.”

Earlier in the day, Ford responded to the latest accusations by saying he is taking legal action against former staffers who claimed the mayor brought a woman appearing to be an escort to his office and drank alcohol while driving.

The new allegations surfaced Wednesday in more than 500 pages of court documents that were used by Canadian police to get a search warrant for Alexander Lisi, Ford’s friend and occasional driver, whom police accuse of marijuana possession and trafficking.

While outside his office Thursday, Ford responded to accusations of drinking and driving by telling reporters, “I’m sure none of you have never gotten behind the wheel after taking a drink.”

He said the allegations in the documents are “outright lies” and “not true.”

The documents include police interviews with former staff members, information obtained from surveillance crews and cameras, and even an examination of the mayor’s garbage.

Several staffers said they were asked to buy alcohol for the mayor of Canada’s largest city. One incident described by a former staffer alleged that Ford, while driving, stopped the vehicle, guzzled some vodka, and drove on.

Ford’s former press secretary George Christopoulos also said women often came to the mayor’s office, “and told staffers that they have smoked a joint with the mayor on the street outside of the bar. These women were told by the mayor that they could have a job.” Christopoulos would then have to interview these women and try to talk them out of a job.

None of the allegations against Ford has been substantiated by investigators, and Ford faces no criminal charges.

On Thursday, Ford also said the so-called “escort” wasn’t a prostitute but a family friend. He added that such allegations “hurt my wife.”

“It makes me sick,” he added. “I’ve had enough.”

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford (Courtesy: City of Toronto)

TORONTO (CNN)-

As the Toronto City Council prepared for a vote on whether to recommend that the city’s embattled mayor resign, Rob Ford said he is not going anywhere.

“I’m definitely keeping this job,” Ford said during a City Council meeting Wednesday. “I am not leaving here.”

It was Ford’s first appearance before the council since admitting to having smoked crack cocaine. He further admitted to the council that he has purchased illegal drugs within the past two years, a period during which he was in office.

Ford’s insistence on staying in office remains unchanged. He stated once again that he has been a good mayor and that voters will decide during next year’s election whether to keep him or not.

The motion that the City Council will consider, if passed, will urge the mayor to take a leave of absence. The council does not have the power to force the mayor from his post.

At times appearing exasperated during the questioning, Ford apologized profusely.

“I have made a mistake. I am human,” he said. “I apologize, I want to move on.”

Ford said he is being subjected to a “public flogging,” and that the experience has been the most humiliating thing in his life, maybe the worst week in his life next to his father’s death.

Despite the admission of drug use and of heavy drinking, Ford flatly denied that he is addicted to alcohol or drugs. He said he took drugs and got drunk “out of sheer stupidity” in a few isolated incidents.

No criminal charges have been filed against Ford, who said he is not cooperating with police on the advice of his lawyer. As mayor, he is a strong supporter of the police, but his attorney “told me not to talk to the police.”

The City Council meeting was tense at times. At one point, Ford’s brother, Councilor Doug Ford, accused the mayor’s opponents of hypocrisy.

He challenged other councilors to stand up if they had ever smoked marijuana, saying he knew that they had.

“Don’t come across that you’re holier than thou, because you’re not,” Doug Ford said.

If Rob Ford was nervous about the grilling, he didn’t show it beforehand.

The day before the council meeting, he was selling and autographing bobblehead dolls of himself for charity.

Last week, after months of dodging allegations, Ford told reporters that he smoked crack cocaine about a year ago — probably, he said, during a “drunken stupor.”

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford (Courtesy: City of Toronto)

TORONTO, Ontario (CNN)-

Despite the call for his resignation after he publicly admitted Tuesday using crack cocaine, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford said will not step down and will run for re-election next October.

“I was elected to do a job and that is exactly what I am going to continue doing,” he said during a second news conference Tuesday at his office.

Earlier,after months of dodging allegations, Ford told reporters that he smoked crack cocaine about a year ago — probably, he said, during a “drunken stupor.”

“Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine. But … do I? Am I an addict? No,” Ford said.

“Probably in one of my drunken stupors, probably approximately about a year ago,” he said about the cocaine use.

Ford said later that he knew he had embarrassed everyone in the city and “I will be forever sorry.”

He promised the people of Canada’s largest city that his mistakes of using crack cocaine will never “ever, ever happen again.”

Pressure on Ford, 44, increased last week, when Toronto’s police chief announced investigators recovered a video of the mayor that purportedly shows him smoking a crack pipe. That followed allegations in two media reports in May that a video showed Ford using crack cocaine last winter.

Ford, who had previously said he did not use crack and who has not been charged with a crime, made the admission to reporters earlier in the day outside his office in Toronto after they asked him about the issue.

Toronto City Councillor John Filion, who had just introduced a motion to take many of the mayor’s powers away from him, said shortly after the admission that Ford “needs to step aside.”

“Wow. I need a minute to absorb this,” Filion said. “I think the mayor needs to step aside and take stock of his life as this situation becomes more absurd.”

Ford said on a radio program Sunday that he was sorry for “a lot of stupid things.” He later clarified on the program — “The City” on CFRB — that his apology referred to two previously reported incidents where he appeared to have been drunk in public and “a lot of stupid things, all self-inflicted” that he didn’t detail.

He also said on that program that he wouldn’t resign despite Thursday’s announcement by police.

Ford says he didn’t lie

While speaking outside his office Tuesday, he said he hadn’t lied — apparently referring to his previous statements on the matter.

“You didn’t ask the correct questions,” he said Tuesday. “No, I’m not an addict. And no, I do not do drugs. I made mistakes in the past and all I can do is apologize.”

When he addressed the allegations in May, Ford denied crack cocaine use in the present tense.

“I do not use crack cocaine. Nor am I an addict of crack cocaine,” he told reporters then, according to CNN affiliate CBC.

The video

In May, the website Gawker and the Toronto Star newspaper published stories saying their reporters had seen 90 seconds of a cell-phone video showing Ford, as the Star described it, “inhaling from what appears to be a glass crack pipe.”

Later in the video — as described by the Star — an “incoherent” man both the Star and Gawker claimed to be Ford ranted about a number of subjects.

The video, which has never been released publicly, shows a “clearly impaired mayor,” two reporters who say they saw the video wrote in the Star.

Then, police recovered video from deleted files on a computer hard drive that was seized during a drug and gang investigation, according to a 465-page report by Toronto police disclosed on Thursday. The report includes hundreds of redacted pages and states that police sources believe a photo of Ford that first surfaced in May was taken in front of a “trap” house used to “chop” crack.

On Thursday, Toronto Police Chief William Blair told reporters that the video featured images “consistent with those that have previously been reported in the press.” Blair said Ford appears in the video, but would not detail what he’s shown doing.

‘I want to see the tape’

Ford told reporters Tuesday that he wants to see the video.

“There’s been times when I’ve been a drunken stupor. That’s why I want to see the tape. I want everyone in the city to see this tape. I’d like to see this tape. I don’t even recall there being a tape and a video and I know that. I want to see the state that I was in,” Ford said.

Police documents also detail evidence used to obtain a search warrant for a man suspected of drug trafficking, Alexander (Sandro) Lisi, who police say is the mayor’s friend as well as his driver. Photos collected by police show Ford and Lisi together on a number of occasions, including attending a Toronto Maple Leafs hockey game, according to the documents.

Lisi was arrested Thursday and charged with extortion, according to a police statement. He is accused of using extortion to retrieve a recording, it said.

Blair said a digital video in police custody will be shown in court in an effort to support the charge against Lisi, who was released after a bail hearing Friday, his lawyer, Seth Weinstein, said.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford (Courtesy: City of Toronto)

TORONTO, Ontario (CNN)-

After months of dodging allegations, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford told reporters Tuesday that he smoked crack cocaine about a year ago — probably, he said, during a “drunken stupor.”

“Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine. But … do I? Am I an addict? No,” Ford said.

“Probably in one of my drunken stupors, probably approximately about a year ago,” he added about the cocaine use.

Pressure on Ford, 44, increased last week, when Toronto’s police chief announced investigators recovered a video of the mayor that purportedly shows him smoking a crack pipe. That followed allegations in two media reports in May that a video showed Ford using crack cocaine last winter.

Ford, who had previously said he did not use cocaine and who has not been charged with a crime, made Tuesday’s admission to reporters outside his office in Toronto after they asked him about the issue.

“Yes, I’ve made mistakes. All I can do is apologize and move on,” he said. He did not address his future as mayor before leaving the reporters.

Toronto City Councillor John Filion, who had just introduced a motion to take many of the mayor’s powers away from him, said shortly after the admission that Ford “needs to step aside.”

“Wow. I need a minute to absorb this,” Filion said. “I think the mayor needs to step aside and take stock of his life as this situation becomes more absurd.”

Ford said on a radio program Sunday that he was sorry for “a lot of stupid things.” He later clarified on the program — “The City” on CFRB — that his apology referred to two previously reported incidents where he appeared to have been drunk in public and “a lot of stupid things, all self-inflicted” that he didn’t detail.

He also said on that program that he wouldn’t resign despite Thursday’s announcement by police.

Ford says he didn’t lie

While speaking outside his office Tuesday, he said he hadn’t lied — apparently referring to his previous statements on the matter.

“You didn’t ask the correct questions,” he said Tuesday. “No, I’m not an addict. And no, I do not do drugs. I made mistakes in the past and all I can do is apologize.”

The video

In May, the website Gawker and the Toronto Star newspaper published stories saying their reporters had seen 90 seconds of a cell-phone video showing Ford, as the Star described it, “inhaling from what appears to be a glass crack pipe.”

Later in the video — as described by the Star — an “incoherent” man both the Star and Gawker claimed to be Ford ranted about a number of subjects. The video, which has never been released publicly, shows a “clearly impaired mayor,” two reporters who say they saw the video wrote in the Star.

Then, police recovered video from deleted files on a computer hard drive that was seized during a drug and gang investigation, according to a 465-page report by Toronto police disclosed on Thursday. The report includes hundreds of redacted pages and states that police sources believe a photo of Ford that first surfaced in May was taken in front of a “trap” house used to “chop” crack.

On Thursday, Toronto Police Chief William Blair told reporters that the video featured images “consistent with those that have previously been reported in the press.” Blair said Ford appears in the video but would not detail what he’s shown doing.

Police documents also detail evidence used to obtain a search warrant for a man suspected of drug trafficking, Alexander (Sandro) Lisi, who police say is the mayor’s friend as well as his driver. Photos collected by police show Ford and Lisi together on a number of occasions, including attending a Toronto Maple Leafs hockey game, according to the documents.

Lisi was arrested Thursday and charged with extortion, according to a police statement. He is accused of using extortion to retrieve a recording, it said.

Blair said a digital video in police custody will be shown in court in an effort to support the charge against Lisi, who was released after a bail hearing Friday, his lawyer, Seth Weinstein, said.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

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