Toronto crack mayor confronts new drunken video

By Vision Reporter

Toronto's crack-smoking mayor faced new embarrassment when video footage was published showing him in an agitated drunken state, staggering and making foul-mouthed threats.

2013 11largeimg208 nov 2013 143847980 350x210

Toronto's crack-smoking mayor faced new embarrassment when video footage was published showing him in an agitated drunken state, staggering and making foul-mouthed threats.

Rob Ford, who admitted earlier this week that he had smoked crack cocaine while on a drunken binge, said he had been "extremely, extremely inebriated" when the video, published Thursday, was shot.

"It's extremely embarrassing and I don't know what to say," Ford told reporters outside his office, after seeing the one minute 17 second clip.

"The whole world is going to see it. You know what? I don't have a problem with that," he added.

The video was purchased and released by the daily Toronto Star. It shows Ford staggering around an unknown living room, ranting and making punching gestures.

"I'll rip his fucking throat out. I'll poke his eyes out... I'll make sure that motherfucker's dead," Ford says, in a tirade apparently secretly videotaped by someone in the room.

"I'm gonna kill that fucking guy. I'm telling you, it's first-degree murder," he says.

The video's release comes after Ford on Tuesday admitted that he once smoked crack "probably in one of my drunken stupors."

The admission by the 44-year-old came after repeated denials, and six months after reports surfaced of a previous video that allegedly showed him consuming the illicit drug.

The crack video is now in police hands as part of an investigation of Ford's longtime friend Alexander Lisi on suspicion of extortion related to Lisi's attempts to recover that video.

Police are expected to soon release possibly damning wiretaps in the Lisi case, after a court ordered authorities to do so.

But Toronto's police chief has refused to release the crack video, saying it is part of the Lisi criminal investigation.

"This is very disturbing and very upsetting," city councillor James Pasternak said of the latest controversy.

"It is very sad, and it's conduct unbecoming of a chief magistrate, and it's just another disappointment."

Later Toronto City Council is expected to vote on a motion asking for the provincial government of Ontario to step in and remove Ford from office if he does not heed urging to step aside.

The province's Premier Kathleen Wynne however has already said she would not step in, preferring to let police and the courts deal with the matter, for now.

Pasternak, while generally supportive of attempts to oust the mayor, cautioned fellow councillors that having the province "come in and run the country's largest city is a dangerous and risky precedent.

"And there may be consequences in it to come."

Another councillor, John Fillion, predicted that "the more people try to shove him aside, the more he will dig in."

Toronto's deputy mayor, Norm Kelly, in a guarded defense of his boss, said he hoped that the mayor had been "speaking metaphorically" in the new footage.

"All of us know there are family moments or moments with our friends privately where we have seen behavior like that," he said. "We may even have had moments like that ourselves."

"The language is the language of a gutter. He's speaking obviously in an emotionally agitated state but I don't know the context.

"In politics you often talk about burying your enemies, so again, I sincerely hope he is."

Ford has vowed to stay on and seek reelection next year. He faces no charges.

AFP

Toronto crack mayor confronts new drunken video