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 councilors turned their backs on the mayor
each time he spoke and again called on him to step aside.
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 apologized 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
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
"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 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
"I have to take legal action against the waiter who said I was doing
lines," he said. "Outright lies, that is not true."
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, downtown-centric politics at City
Hall. But his term has been consumed by revelations of bad behavior,
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
[to top of second column]
In another incident, Ford was described by a former staff member as
being "very inebriated, verbally abusive and inappropriate with" a
female staff member on St. Patrick's Day. Another former staffer
reported seeing the mayor drunk in his office about 15 to 20 times
in the year he worked for him.
Ford acknowledged to reporters that he might have consumed alcohol
while driving in the past. But he immediately went on the defense.
"I'm not perfect. Maybe you are but I'm not, OK?" he told
journalists. "I know none of you guys have ever had a drink and got
behind the wheel."
Later, many of Toronto's 44-member City Council turned their backs
as the mayor spoke about city affairs. An ardent football fan, Ford
wore a Toronto Argonauts football jersey and cowboy boots at the
session, prompting a protest from the team.
"These latest remarks, while wearing our team's jersey, are
particularly disappointing," the team said in a statement.
Ford later wore a suit and tie at the news conference where he
apologized for his crudeness.
The council voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to ask Ford to take a
leave of absence, but the motion was non-binding because the council
lacks the authority to force the mayor from office unless he is
convicted of a crime. The council is set to consider another motion
Friday to strip Ford of some of his powers.
"This is one of the most stubborn pig-headed people I think we have
ever seen. He seems to have no self-awareness, no core of moral
character. It is stunning, it is stunning" Councilor Janet Davis
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said Thursday that the provincial
government would be willing to step in and approve legislation to
remove the mayor, but only if the council voted unanimously to seek
that step and parties in the provincial legislature supported it.
"The things that we are hearing and seeing about Mayor Rob Ford are
truly disturbing," Wynne said. But she added, the last thing "this
terrible situation needs is an overlay of partisan politics."
City Councilor Denzil Minnan-Wong had considered introducing a
motion asking the province to intervene but decided against it
because of lack of support from councilors who feared setting a
Press; ROB GILLIES]
Copyright 2013 The Associated
Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.