Tags: toronto | mayor | crack | allegations

Toronto Mayor Won’t Resign Over Crack Allegations

Image: Toronto Mayor Won’t Resign Over Crack Allegations

By    |   Friday, 31 May 2013 01:04 PM

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford says he will not resign over allegations about a video said to show him smoking crack cocaine and plans to seek re-election next year, CBC News reported Friday.

"I'm not stepping aside. I'm running in the next election, and if the great people of this city want to go in a different direction, that’s what their prerogative is," Ford told reporters at a Thursday press conference.

After reports of a video first emerged two weeks ago, Ford initially called the charges untrue and "ridiculous" and later denied the video's existence. He has also said that he is not addicted to crack cocaine and doesn't use it.

Asked by reporters Thursday for whether he had ever used illegal drugs while serving as mayor, Ford replied: "Anything else?" a phrase he repeated several times when asked about drug video allegations.

On Thursday, two more members of Ford's inner circle – Policy Adviser Brian Johnston and Executive Assistant Kia Nejatian – resigned, bringing to five the number of top aides who have departed in recent weeks.

Also on Thursday, the Toronto Star quoted "sources" as stating that Mayor Ford told senior aides not to worry about a video appearing to show him smoking crack cocaine because he knew where the video was.

Other elected officials have urged Ford to be more forthright in addressing the allegations.

"The mayor would serve his own cause best if he came out and forthrightly addressed all the questions that are arising out of this matter," city council member John Parker said.
Coun. James Pasternak said the matter has become a daily distraction.

"It's damaging to the city," he said. "The longer it lasts, the more destructive it becomes."

The video has not been made public, although the website Gawker has raised $200,000 in the hopes of obtaining the recording.

On Thursday, Toronto police announced they had filed first-degree murder charges against a second man in the slaying of year-old Anthony Smith, who appears to have his arm around Ford in a widely circulated video.

It was provided to Gawker and the Toronto Star by the same people who showed them the alleged video of Ford appearing to smoke crack, CBC News reported.

Smith, 21, was shot to death March 28 outside a Toronto nightclub.


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Toronto Mayor Rob Ford says he will not resign over allegations about a video said to show him smoking crack cocaine and plans to seek re-election next year.
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2013-04-31
Friday, 31 May 2013 01:04 PM
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