Toronto mayor says crack video doesn't exist
TORONTO — Toronto Mayor Rob Ford said Sunday that a purported video of him smoking crack cocaine does not exist and vowed to seek re-election next year, attacking the media again as a “bunch of maggots.”
The mayor of Canada's largest city, speaking on the weekly radio show he hosts with his brother Doug Ford, a city council member, reiterated that the allegations are ridiculous, but he still has not said whether he has ever used crack.
The video has not been released publicly and its authenticity has not been verified. Reports on the gossip website Gawker and in the Toronto Star claimed it was taken by men who said they had sold the drug to Ford. The Associated Press hasn't seen the video.
The Star reported that two journalists had watched a video that appears to show Ford, sitting in a chair, inhaling from what appears to be a glass crack pipe. The Star said it did not obtain the video or pay to watch it. Gawker and the Star said the video was shown to them by a drug dealer who had been trying to sell it for a six-figure sum.
When asked by a caller to the show if it was him in the video, Ford responded, “Number one: There's no video, so that's all I can say. You can't comment on something that doesn't exist.”
Ford called the allegations false and said good journalists are “few and far between.”
“A bunch of maggots,” Ford said, quickly adding that he shouldn't have said that.
Ford has refused to take questions from the media for more than a week. On Friday he denied that he smokes crack cocaine, but declined to take questions again at a new conference.
Critics of Ford have not been appeased and have questioned whether the mayor has told the whole truth. Some have called on him to step down, but Ford vowed on Sunday to seek re-election next year. “I'll be the first putting my name on that ballot,” he said.
Doug Ford is also facing drug allegations after another leading Canadian newspaper published Saturday the results of what it called a lengthy investigation into the Ford family's past that revealed “a portrait of a family once deeply immersed in the illegal drug scene.”
The Globe and Mail, citing anonymous sources who were involved in the drug trade, alleged that the mayor's older brother sold hashish for several years in the 1980s in the Toronto suburb of Etobicoke, where the family grew up. Doug Ford, 48, is an influential adviser to the mayor.
“I was not a dealer of hashish in the 1980s,” Doug Ford said on Sunday's radio show.
On Saturday, in an interview with the cable TV news network, CP24, Doug Ford also denied the allegations, accusing the Globe and Mail of engaging in “irresponsible journalism” and trying “to ruin our family.”
The mayor has been embroiled in almost weekly controversies about his behavior since being elected in 2010, but these are the most serious allegations he has yet faced. The Toronto Star reported earlier this year that the mayor was asked to leave a gala fundraiser for wounded Canadian soldiers because he appeared intoxicated.
During his campaign for mayor, Rob Ford vehemently denied a 1999 arrest for marijuana possession in Florida, but later acknowledged it was true after he was presented with evidence. He pleaded guilty to driving under the influence and failing to give a breath sample to police.
While in office, he has been accused of flouting conflict of interest rules and making obscene gestures at residents from his car.
The controversy has drawn comparisons to the 1990 arrest of then-Washington Mayor Marion Barry, who was videotaped smoking crack cocaine in a hotel room during an FBI sting operation. Barry served six months in federal prison on a misdemeanor drug possession conviction butlater won a fourth term as mayor in 1994.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Norwin High School health teacher charged with selling heroin
- West Homestead man taken into custody after 8-hour police standoff in Hempfield
- Pirates cut 12, including outfielder Tabata and pitcher Lincoln
- Bodies of Kochu, Gray found in Ohio River in West Virginia
- State police seek info on police impersonator in Export
- Penguins’ protracted slump continues with 5-2 loss at Carolina
- Pa. woman charged with forging docs to claim she was an attorney
- Aldi to open store where Bottom Dollar closed in Garfield
- Port Authority secures free North Shore light-rail service
- Freshman arrested in Burrell High School bomb threat
- Plagued by bomb threats, Yough offering $1,000 reward