Mayor Rob Ford denies drug allegations
Watch Mayor Rob Ford’s full address to the media on May 24 above, as he denies allegations of crack cocaine use.
TORONTO – Mayor Rob Ford denies he uses crack cocaine.
“I do not use crack cocaine, nor am I an addict of crack cocaine,” Ford said.
In an impromptu press conference Friday, the mayor said he “can’t comment on a video that I have never seen or does not exist.”
Global News has not seen the video and cannot verify its contents.
Ford had previously called the allegations “ridiculous.”
Friday’s press conference was the first time in a week the mayor had addressed the swirling allegations. Over the past week, he said, his lawyer had advised him to stay silent.
Despite the mayor saying things are “business as usual” at city hall some councillors weren’t willing to accept the mayor’s statement.
Councillor Peter Milczyn said he does not think the mayor’s statement will end the controversy but was glad he finally addressed the people of Toronto.
VIDEO: Jackson Proskow reports on how the city reacted to Mayor Rob Ford’s statement.
Scarborough Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker however called on the mayor to resign saying he has “no legitimacy in the city of Toronto.”
“I think the mayor at this point should simply resign,” De Bearemaeker said. “To be smoking crack with drug dealers is not something the mayor of Toronto should be doing, to be calling a political leader a ‘fag’ is not what you should be doing, to be calling high school athletes ‘just f-ing minorities’ is not something an elected official should be doing, to fire your chief of staff for trying to help you get help is not something you should be doing.”
The councillor also said he believes the three reporters who published the original allegations, but refused to call the mayor a “liar” instead suggesting Ford “didn’t tell the truth.”
VIDEO: Councillors Glenn De Bearemaeker and Josh Colle react to Mayor Rob Ford’s statement.
In his statement Friday, the mayor lashed out, once again, at the Toronto Star.
“It is most unfortunate that my colleagues and the great people of this city have been exposed to the fact that I have been judged by the media without any evidence,” he said.
While the mayor refused to take questions, his brother, Councillor Doug Ford, stepped to the podium and echoed his brother’s comments while briefly taking questions.
“Very simple there’s one news organization that accused and has an accusation of a video that does not exist or that we haven’t seen,” Doug Ford said.
Councillor Ford refused to acknowledge that the American website, Gawker, had in fact broken the story.
Instead, Doug Ford only referred to Gawker’s IndieGoGo campaign.
“Let me tell you about Gawker I think it’s disgusting that an organization like Gawker would go out there and deal with a bunch of extortionists,” Doug Ford said.
Gawker’s crowdfunding campaign aimed to raise $200,000 to buy the alleged video. As of writing, the campaign had received $166,070.
Just after 3 p.m. ET, some members of the mayor’s executive committee published an open letter to Torontonians assuring residents that the “city’s business continues without interruption.”
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