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Toronto - Lawyer: Toronto Mayor Takes Leave Of Absence

Published on: April 30, 2014 09:11 PM
Last updated on: April 30, 2014 10:48 PM
By: AP
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FILE- Toronto Mayor Rob Ford laughs in front of a "Keep Calm and Carry On" sign at City Hall in Toronto March 19, 2014. ReutersFILE- Toronto Mayor Rob Ford laughs in front of a "Keep Calm and Carry On" sign at City Hall in Toronto March 19, 2014. Reuters

Toronto - Toronto Mayor Rob Ford will take a leave of absence to seek help for substance abuse, his lawyer said Wednesday, as a report surfaced about a second video of the mayor smoking what appears to be crack cocaine.

The Globe and Mail newspaper reported it has viewed a second video of Ford smoking what appears to be crack cocaine in his sister’s basement. The national newspaper reported two Globe reporters viewed the video from a self-professed drug dealer showing Ford taking a drag from a pipe early Saturday morning.

The video is part “of a package of three videos the dealer said was surreptitiously filmed around 1:15 a.m., and which he says he is now selling for ‘at least six figures,’” the paper reported.


News reports of the existence of an earlier video of Ford apparently smoking crack first surfaced last May, igniting a media firestorm around Ford.

The latest crack tape report comes as Ford’s lawyer, Dennis Morris, said the mayor will take a leave of absence for substance abuse. Ford is seeking re-election in the Oct. 27 vote.

Morris said he spoke to Ford earlier Wednesday and said Ford has accepted that he has a problem.

“He acknowledges he has a substance abuse problem and he wants to do something about it,” Morris told The Associated Press.

Ford, who launched his campaign for re-election earlier this year, acknowledged last year after months of denials that he smoked crack in a “drunken stupor” after police said they obtained a video that appears to show him smoking crack. The video has never been released to the public.

Ford has careened from one scandal to another, becoming a national embarrassment for many Canadians.

Also on Wednesday, The Toronto Sun reported that it obtained an audio recording of Ford making offensive remarks about other politicians at a bar on Monday night.

Ford has refused to resign, despite mounting pressure after a string of incidents, from public drunkenness to an appearance in another video that showed him threatening “murder” in an incoherent rant. Toronto’s city council has stripped him of most of his powers.

Ford said last year that he quit drinking alcohol after having a “come to Jesus moment” but later acknowledged that he drank again. A number of recordings of the mayor intoxicated have surfaced since.

Ford acknowledged “rocky moments over the past year” during his official campaign launch earlier this month but vowed to fight harder than ever to win re-election.

Ford, who was the first to register as a candidate in January, invoked the spirit of second chances during a speech in front of supporters.

A message left with Ford’s chief of staff was not returned. Ford’s lawyer, Morris, did not immediately respond to a call seeking comment on the reports that emerged Wednesday night.

John Tory, who is running against Ford in the election, said he’s relieved that Ford is seeking help but said “for the good of the city” he should resign.

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Read Comments (3)  —  Post Yours »


 Apr 30, 2014 at 09:39 PM Anonymous Says:

Readers of this who are not from Toronto should not dismiss this report as only local news for Torontonians. It demonstrates clearly the extent to which denial governs the individual with the addiction. Photographic evidence and repeated sightings and reports were met with stubborn refusal to acknowledge there is a problem. The mayor's name became the butt of numerous jokes, and was associated with disgrace. Yet, he would not yield to recognize the obvious - drugs control him.

No one is immune to this disease. It strikes anywhere, every known ethnic group, and affects frum Jews just as anyone else. We need not hide from it, but face it, have each and every case evaluated and treated. There is hope in recovery. The frum community has quite a few professionals who deal with addictions, including the gamut of alcohol, drugs, gambling, and taavos nashim (internet and physical acting out). To deny the existence of the problem is hiding from the truth. The old line "Shikker is a goy" is no longer true.


 May 01, 2014 at 12:29 AM Relax Says:

Maybe he went to Colorado to relax a little...


 May 01, 2014 at 08:32 AM Additional Concern Says:

It is not just the Mayor's addiction to drugs and alcohol, which he should be concerned with. It is also his addiction to food. The Mayor of Toronto is about 100 lbs. overweight. With his large midsection, and unhealthy eating habits, he is, unfortunately, a prime candidate for a heart attack, diabetes, high blood pressure, and a stroke. He should take time off, and learn healthy eating habits, as well as a daily routine of exercise. I mean this seriously, and not in jest.


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