Toronto Mayor get­ting pro­fes­sional help

The Star (Jamaica) - - INTERNATIONAL -

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford an­nounced Thurs­day he’s get­ting help from health care pro­fes­sion­als but again re­fused to step aside over his drug use and drink­ing. He also threat­ened to take le­gal ac­tion against for­mer staffers who spoke to po­lice about his be­hav­iour and de­nied mak­ing sex­ual ad­vances to­wards a fe­male staffer.

Ford, who has been un­der pres­sure to re­sign since ad­mit­ting last week to smok­ing crack, used a typ­i­cal mix of con­trite­ness and an­gry de­fi­ance dur­ing sev­eral pub­lic ap­pear­ances Thurs­day. At a City Coun­cil ses­sion, out­raged coun­cil­lors turned their backs on the mayor each time he spoke and again called on him to step aside.

PRI­VACY

Ford said at a news con­fer­ence that he didn’t want to comment on the par­tic­u­lars of the health- care sup­port he’s re­ceiv­ing and asked for pri­vacy for his fam­ily.

With his wife at his side, Ford also apol­o­gised for us­ing coarse lan­guage to deny al­le­ga­tions that he once told a fe­male staffer he wanted to have oral sex with her.

Ford said he was pushed “over the line” by newly re­leased court doc­u­ments that in­cluded al­le­ga­tions against him in­volv­ing co­caine, es­corts, and pros­ti­tu­tion. He called the al­le­ga­tions “100 per cent lies”.

He said his in­tegrity as a fa­ther and hus­band had been at­tacked, prompt­ing him to “see red”.

“I acted on com­plete im­pulse in my re­marks,” Ford said.

Hours ear­lier, Ford had drawn gasps from shocked re­porters with his choice of words as he ad­dressed the al­le­ga­tions about the oral sex re­marks.

“I’ve never said that in my life to her, I would never do that,” Ford said on live tele­vi­sion.

The fa­ther of two school- age chil­dren said he is “hap­pily mar­ried” and used crude lan­guage to say he gets enough, sat­is­fac­tion at home.

Ford also said he would take le­gal ac­tion against his for­mer chief of staff, Mark Towhey and two other aides over their in­ter­views with po­lice that were de­tailed in court doc­u­ments re­leased Wed­nes­day. Ford did not spec­ify what the aides might have said that was un­true. He also said he would take ac­tion against a waiter who said he be­lieved Ford and a woman were snort­ing co­caine in a pri­vate room at a restau­rant.

“I have to take le­gal ac­tion against the waiter who said I was do­ing lines,” he said. “Out­right lies, that is not true.”

DIS­CON­TENT

The con­ser­va­tive Ford, 44, was elected in 2010 on a wave of dis­con­tent from Toronto’s outer suburbs over what vot­ers con­sid­ered waste­ful spend­ing and elit­ist, down­town­cen­tric pol­i­tics at City Hall. But his term has been con­sumed by rev­e­la­tions of bad be­hav­iour, from the crack smok­ing to threat­en­ing to kill some­one in a video­taped, in­co­her­ent rant.

The court doc­u­ments re­leased Wed­nes­day are part of a drug case against Ford’s friend and oc­ca­sional driver. Po­lice in­ter­views with Ford’s ex- staffers re­vealed their con­cerns about his drug use and drunk driv­ing, with one staffer al­leg­ing an­other staffer saw Ford “im­paired, driv­ing very fast,” and fright­en­ing the fe­male staffer who was in the car with him.

AP

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford makes a state­ment to the me­dia out­side his of­fice at Toronto’s city hall af­ter the re­lease of a video. A new video sur­faced show­ing Ford in a rage, us­ing threat­en­ing words in­clud­ing ‘ kill’ and ‘ mur­der’. Ford said he was “ex­tremely, ex­tremely ine­bri­ated” in the video, which ap­peared Thurs­day on the ‘ Toronto Star’s’ web­site. The con­text of the video is un­known and it’s un­clear who the tar­get of Ford’s wrath is.

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