Toronto mayor Rob Ford admitted to buying illegal drugs within the last two years during an intense, heated city council meeting Wednesday that saw lawmakers deliver a petition and an official motion urging him to step aside. Plus: more alleged drugs, hookers and young women who were promised while smoking joints with the mayor!
Update, 4:55 p.m. Just released court documents have thrown a whole new wave of allegations towards the embattled mayor, based on interviews with former Ford chief of staff Mark Towhey, Ford's director of logistics and operations Doug Price, and staffers George Christopoulos and Chris Fickel. The mayor allegedly drinks and drives, according to his staff members, who are dispatched to buy liquor for Ford so he doesn't get caught buying booze on social media. More details are filled in about his alleged St. Patrick's day partying: Ford allegedly was caught snorting something by a waiter at Bier Markt, the Toronto pub where Ford made a fool of himself, and Earl Provost, another staff member. The waiter says he believes it was coke, while Provost thinks it was OxyCotin. Also, some staffers believe two women in Ford's entourage that night were hookers.
Original: Toronto city council is doing everything in its power to get Ford out of there, which is admittedly a goal they cannot achieve. As The Atlantic Wire's Abby Ohlheiser explained, the only way Ford can be forced out of office is in handcuffs. He must be arrested and charged of a crime to be officially removed from office. For his part, Ford has promised supporters he's "not going anywhere," and really, there's nothing the city council can do about it. The legal chief reassured as much during Wednesday's meeting:
Legal chief: You can't require anybody to step down, but this motion is about "urging" someone to step down; "it's a request."— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) November 13, 2013
But that didn't stop council members from delivering a petition signed by thirty of Toronto's forty four city counsellors asking Ford to step aside. Denzil Minnan-Wong, a city counsellor weighing a run for mayor against Ford, also put forward a motion urging the mayor step aside and apologize for his mistakes. It didn't take long for the meeting to get ugly, with the two men nearly coming to blows during a particularly heated exchange in the middle of the council floor.
Here's Ford and Minnan-Wong on the floor, with Cllr Davis apparently trying to intervene pic.twitter.com/LDqXsMDDIy— Ben Spurr (@BenSpurr) November 13, 2013
After a short five minute recess that allowed heads to cool, Toronto city councillors fired question after question at Ford, asking the mayor about every salacious rumor that has been reported over the last year, including accusations of drug use and drunk driving. Ford promised city council he is not addicted to drugs or alcohol, and that he "absolutely" won't a leave of absence. He also assured members every dirty detail of his illicit dealings has already been revealed. "There might be a coathanger left in my closet," he said.
But the day's biggest revelation came from Ford himself after Minnan-Wong asked whether the mayor had purchased drugs in the last two years. This was the mayor's answer:
A long pause before, "yes, I have." The conversation turned towards the crack house where Ford was photographed with three alleged gang members. You know the photo, it accompanied every story the Toronto Star and Gawker released about the crack tape. Counsellors started pressing Ford about his galavanting with alleged gang members when, in the public and in the press, he claims to be tough on gang crime, drugs and guns. Ford fought back, telling the room there's a family -- a mother and a father -- who live in that house. Ford screamed, "That is not a crack house!" The exchange that followed drew big laughs from the crowd:
The meeting descended into complete anarchy shortly thereafter. Rob's brother Doug, a fellow city councillor, started heckling Minnan-Wong while he was trying to speak. Voices were raised, again, and things got out of hand, again. Another recess was called.
Knowing he had a rapturous city council meeting ahead of him, Ford signed some T-shirts with "Ford Nation," the name he gives his supporters, emblazoned on the front on Tuesday. The car company was not amused. Ford went on a full-court press public relations assault, spending four and a half hours kissing babies, and selling and signing bobble heads at city hall. (Proceeds went to the United Way.) The line-ups stretched through the building all day, though not everyone Ford met was friendly.
The mayor, who has become an international punchline in the wake of his crack admission, shook hands with curious Toronto residents who wanted to stand next to a side show, or ones hoping to get close enough to tell the mayor how embarrassing he truly is for the city. But after the supply of bobble heads dried up, some enterprising Canadians brought custom made "Ford Nation" T-shirts with the popular car company's logo featured prominently on the chest. Ford, happy to appease his true fans, signed those too. Here are the T-shirts, in both black and white, depending on your sartorial preference:
Woman in Ford Nation shirt. pic.twitter.com/a39H8IhJyE— Jackson Proskow (@JProskowGlobal) November 12, 2013
Mayor Rob Ford signs a Ford Nation t-shirt between bobbleheads. pic.twitter.com/f0GXSHF60K— robyndoolittle (@robyndoolittle) November 12, 2013
All things considered, it's not shocking Ford's supporters would let something trivial like commonly accepted copyright laws get in their way from making these spiffy T-shirts, considering the mayor's own transgressions. But Ford, the car company, was hardly amused with the stunt. Monday morning, Ford's Canadian arm distanced itself from Canada's most controversial mayor:
Ford Motor Company did not grant permission for the use of its logo and thank you for bringing this to our attention.— Ford Canada (@FordCanada) November 12, 2013
Mayor Ford plans to have his own "Ford Nation" T-shirts, sans Ford logo, available Wednesday afternoon.