Toronto Mayor Rob Ford apologized to Torontonians after he admitted to smoking crack cocaine while in office.
Numerous city hall councillors including his allies said Ford should either step down or take a break, but in a press conference at the end of the day Ford said, “I was elected to do a job and that’s exactly what I’m going to continue doing.”
“I know what I did was wrong. Admitting it was the most difficult and embarrassing thing I have ever had to do. Folks, I have nothing left to hide,” he said. “I would do anything, absolutely anything to change the past. But the past is the past and we must move forward.”
Earlier Tuesday morning, Ford told reporters at city hall he smoked crack cocaine, “but … am I an addict? No. Have I tried it? Probably in one of my drunken stupors, probably approximately about a year ago.”
He added: “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, but it is what it is and I can’t change the past.
“I can apologize to my family, my friends, my colleagues and the people of this great city.”
Mayor Ford has been facing allegations related to crack cocaine use since May, when Gawker and Toronto Star reported on a video showing the mayor allegedly smoking what looked like crack cocaine. The issue made headlines again last week when Toronto Police chief Bill Blair announced that police recovered a video consistent with media reports from a hard drive seized during a police raid in June.
“It’s time for him to take a break,” Councillor Minnan-Wong told reporters after his earlier admission today, while Councillor Jaye Robinson said, “He does not have a shred of credibility.”
Councillor Paula Fletcher suggested Ford step aside in order to get some help and she repeated that statement after his apology late in the day.
Councillor Adam Vaughan was also untouched by the Mayor’s apology.
He said, “The Fords have lost any moral authority.”
Earlier in May, Mayor Ford denied all allegations related to substance abuse and said, “I do not use crack cocaine, nor am I an addict of crack cocaine.”
Adding to the controversy, Vice.com reported Tuesday that an anonymous source approached the media organization in late July and claimed he was hired by the mayor’s communications director to hack an online directory to destroy the digital video file. Ford’s office has since said that source was a hoax.
More details may arrive in the courts. Earlier Tuesday, Global News reported that the public has a right to Project Traveller warrant information even if it includes police wiretaps, as an Ontario judge ruled.
The warrants could be used as evidence in a criminal proceeding or part of an ongoing investigation of Mayor Ford’s friend, Alexander “Sandro” Lisi, who has been linked to attempts to retrieve the infamous video. He was charged with four offences by the Toronto police.
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