Toronto Mayor Rob Ford will take a leave of absence to seek help for substance abuse problems. A Canadian newspaper, meanwhile, has reported on a second video of Ford smoking what appears to be crack cocaine.
The Globe and Mail newspaper #link:http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/toronto/rob-ford-takes-leave-as-new-drug-video-emerges/article18354671/:said on Wednesday# that two of its reporters had seen a video of Rob Ford smoking what appeared to be crack cocaine in his sister's basement. The story, which cites a self-professed drug dealer, says the video was secretly filmed early Saturday morning and shows Ford taking a drag from a long copper-colored pipe.
The video is from "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 newspaper reported.
The newspaper report also quoted Ford's lawyer, Dennis Morris, as saying the mayor will be taking a leave of absence from his job to "address the substance abuse problem he has."
Morris told the Associated Press news agency he had spoken earlier Wednesday to Ford, who admitted he has a problem. "He acknowledges he has a substance abuse problem and he wants to do something about it," Morris said to AP.
The Toronto Sun newspaper #link:http://www.torontosun.com/2014/04/30/mayor-rob-ford-ready-to-take-a-break:also separately reported# Ford was taking a break from his re-election campaign to "get help." The Mayor is seeking a second term in office in the city's October 27 election. The newspaper also reported it had obtained a new audio recording of Ford making offensive remarks about other politicians at a bar Monday night.
Ford launched his re-election campaign earlier this year, but has come under increasing fire for his behavior after careening from one scandal to the next. After months of denials, he admitted late last year he had smoked crack in a "drunken stupor" after police said they'd obtained a video showing him smoking the drug. The video has never been released to the public.
First elected in a landslide in 2010, he has since been stripped of most of his powers, with his controversial behavior drawing the ire of the Toronto city council.
The Toronto mayor has acknowledged his "rocky moments" over the past year, but has promised to fight hard for another term in office. He was the first to register as a candidate in January.
dr/hc (AP, Reuters, AFP)