[Bloomberg] – Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, facing mounting calls to resign after allegations of drug use, admitted for the first time publicly he had smoked crack cocaine, likely when he was drunk.
“Yes I have smoked crack cocaine,” Ford, 44, said today at city hall in a media conference broadcast by CP24 television.
“Probably in one of my drunken stupors.” Ford’s admission comes amid mounting calls for him to resign after Toronto police said last week they had found a video that showed the mayor of Canada’s biggest city appearing to inhale from a glass cocaine pipe.
The Toronto Star and U.S. website Gawker were the first to report on the video in May, sparking a five-month police investigation that included airplane surveillance and cameras mounted on poles tracking Ford’s movements.
At the time, the mayor said he didn’t smoke crack and that he couldn’t comment on a video he had not seen.
Ford, who apologized on Nov. 3 for being “hammered” at a street party in August and for being in his office at 2 a.m. on St. Patrick’s Day with a half-empty bottle of brandy, vowed to curb his drinking and get a driver. He has said repeatedly he has no plans to resign.
“I made mistakes in the past and all I can do is apologize,” Ford said today in the media conference. “It is what it is and I can’t change the past. And I can apologize to my family, my friends, my colleagues and the people of this great city.”
Several city councilors and at least three Toronto newspapers had urged the mayor to step aside before today. Councilor Jaye Robinson repeated that call today.
“Right now, he does not have a shred of credibility,” Robinson said at city hall in an interview on CP24. “If he really cares about Toronto and he really wants to do what’s in the best interest of Toronto, and himself and his family, he needs to step aside.”