Toronto Mayor Answers Questions in Front of City Council, Won't Step Down
(TORONTO) -- During an appearance in front of the Toronto City Council on Wednesday, Mayor Rob Ford admitted to buying illicit drugs during the past two years. Ford was grilled by the council as they debated a motion requesting Ford take a leave of absence after he confirmed rumors that a video of him smoking crack cocaine exists earlier this week.
The council does not have the power to remove Ford from office, but did vote Wednesday afternoon to request Ford step down temporarily. The final tally of that vote was 37-5 in favor of Ford taking leave. Toronto police said that last month they had obtained a video that depicted Ford smoking a crack pipe. The mayor was also photographed with suspected gang members.
When asked about the photograph, Ford said that he had never met the gang members previously. "They came out and asked me to take a picture with them, and that's the God-honest truth," Ford told the council.
"I'm not part of gangbangers, I do not support them, but when someone comes out and says let's take a picture, I would take a picture," Ford explained. Ford was peppered with questions Wednesday morning, including "Did you smoke crack in a crack house?" Ford admitted to the accusations, saying that he is "sorry for embarrassing you, everyone in this counselor chamber, everyone in this city. I apologize."
Despite the appearance, which included a number of seemingly-damning moments, Ford maintained that he would not leave office unless the voters replace him.
Police documents released on Wednesday afternoon paint a cloudier picture still. Police spoke to staffers in Ford's office who said that they were concerned about the mayor's drug and alcohol use and that Ford had entertained woman who they suspected to be prostitutes at city hall.
The police documents cite a number of incidents in which Ford was seen heavily drinking and even taking prescription medication while drinking.
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