Rob Ford admits to smoking crack cocaine, won't resign

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford admits to smoking crack cocaine, won't resign

Posted: Updated:
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford admitted earlier this week to smoking cocaine while in a 'drunken stupor'. Photo credit: AP. Toronto Mayor Rob Ford admitted earlier this week to smoking cocaine while in a 'drunken stupor'. Photo credit: AP.

(CNN) -- The headline screaming from the front page of Wednesday's Toronto Sun said it all: "Rob Ford: Global Stuporstar."

Above the text, Ford -- the mayor of Toronto -- beamed out at readers from the news conference where he had just admitted smoking crack cocaine. In a drunken stupor. "Probably, approximately about a year ago."

Despite the controversy, Ford is clinging to office, confounding critics and delighting supporters who say he's done plenty of good for the city -- despite headlines around the world that have splashed a bit of mud on the image of the gleaming lakeside city that's arguably the cultural center of English-speaking Canada.

"He's human. We all make mistakes," one resident told Canadian broadcaster CBC Toronto.

"If he smokes and saves me money, I'll vote for him — even if he's a bum," said another.

In fact, some polling data suggested Ford's approval ratings had actually climbed in the days before his stunning announcement Tuesday after months of denials -- as they had in September with the scandal in full swing.

Mayors behaving badly: Rob Ford joins a long list

At that time, some 10,000 cheering supporters packed the Ford family's annual barbecue -- even with all the lurid accusations of drug use and purported links to street criminals, CBC reported.

"He's a remarkable individual and a lot of people have put their faith in him," City Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong told CNN's Piers Morgan on Tuesday. "The question is when will the public feel that he's basically taking advantage of them and that he has abused that trust that they've given him."

Tuesday's admission followed months of sometimes heated denials prompted by reports this spring by the U.S. website Gawker and the Toronto Sun newspaper revealing the existence of a video that purportedly shows Ford smoking crack.

The scandal widened amid a police investigation and the arrest of one of Ford's friends on drug charges.

He denied the allegations -- until Tuesday -- when he emerged from his office and shocked reporters with his sudden admission.

"Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine. But no, do I? Am I an addict? No," he said. "Have I tried it? Probably in one of my drunken stupors, probably approximately about a year ago."

He has not been charged with any wrongdoing.

"I actually was completely surprised," said Robyn Doolittle, city hall reporter for the Toronto Star.

Reporters had expected him to resign, she said.

The admission was the only the latest oddity in what Toronto Life magazine called "the weirdest mayoralty ever."

Among other things, Ford has been called out for comments some have interpreted as racist, homophobic and misogynistic, and he has had several brushes with city ethics regulators, according to the Toronto Star.

But he has also scored successes, including fiscal reforms that have endeared him to supporters, columnist Philip Preville wrote in Toronto Life magazine.

"While the entire city has been distracted by the giant blowhard on the screen, the man behind the curtain has accomplished some impressive wizardry," he said.

For some, the drama surrounding Ford echoes that of Marion Barry, who was mayor of Washington when a police sting operation captured him smoking crack with an informant in 1990.

After a spectacular fall from grace and six months in prison, Barry successfully ran for a seat on the Washington, D.C. City Council under the slogan, "He may not be perfect, but he's perfect for D.C."

He then ran for mayor again in 1994 and served a four-year term before returning in 2002 to the City Council, where he remains.

A common tie between the men: a penchant for controversial quotes and an unquestioned love of their communities.

"He loves the city and wants to represent the city as mayor," City Councillor Jaye Robinson said Wednesday, speaking of Ford.

Can he? Doolitle says she thinks so. There's no impeachment law or recall process to force him from office, she says.

But Robinson says that despite continued support among his base, it's time for Ford to step aside -- at least temporarily -- and deal with his personal issues.

"It doesn't really reflect well on the city and the residents, many of the residents, most of the residents are fed up and they would like to see him resign," she said Wednesday.

Ford, however, seems to have other things on his mind, Doolittle said.

"As far as he's concerned, the election for 2014's started," she said.

  • Top StoriesMore>>

  • Child discipline vs. abuse: where's the line?

    Child discipline vs. abuse: where's the line?

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 11:14 PM EDT2014-09-17 03:14:54 GMT
    It turns out, in legal terms, lines are sometimes blurred.
    It turns out, in legal terms, lines are sometimes blurred.
  • Luis Rodriguez family: private autopsy contradicts state's report

    Luis Rodriguez family: private autopsy contradicts state's report

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 10:16 PM EDT2014-09-17 02:16:11 GMT
    The family of a man who died during an altercation at the Moore Warren Theatre while police were taking him into custody has released findings from a private autopsy that they say contradicts the state's findings.
    The family of a man who died during an altercation at the Moore Warren Theatre while police were taking him into custody has released findings from a private autopsy that they say contradicts the state's findings.
  • Criminal profiler says Weleetka murders may not be fully solved

    Criminal profiler says Weleetka murders may not be fully solved

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 7:24 PM EDT2014-09-16 23:24:36 GMT
    Three guilty pleas, but a defendant who still says he's not responsible for murdering anyone. While Kevin Sweat awaits sentencing many may think the case is closed, but one criminal profiler says the case should be far from over.“In a real case run by serious professionals, you put the gun in the defendant's hand and you put the projectiles fired from that gun into the victim,” said Dr. Brent Turvey, an internationally renowned criminologist.
    Three guilty pleas, but a defendant who still says he's not responsible for murdering anyone. While Kevin Sweat awaits sentencing many may think the case is closed, but one criminal profiler says the case should be far from over.“In a real case run by serious professionals, you put the gun in the defendant's hand and you put the projectiles fired from that gun into the victim,” said Dr. Brent Turvey, an internationally renowned criminologist.
  • More HeadlinesMore>>

  • Man Accused of Starting Girlfriend's House on Fire While Kids Inside

    Man Accused of Starting Girlfriend's House on Fire While Kids Inside

    A Tulsa man is behind bars after police say he purposely set his girlfriend's house on fire while her children were asleep inside.
    A Tulsa man is behind bars after police say he purposely set his girlfriend's house on fire while her children were asleep inside.
  • Former State Department diplomat claims cover-up post Benghazi attack

    Former State Department diplomat claims cover-up post Benghazi attack

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 12:49 PM EDT2014-09-16 16:49:31 GMT
    As Congress' select committee on Benghazi prepares for its first hearing this week, a startling allegation from a former state department diplomat: Hillary Clinton confidants separated out potentially damaging documents from those turned over to the accountability review board. That board is investigating security lapses surrounding the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.
    As Congress' select committee on Benghazi prepares for its first hearing this week, a startling allegation from a former state department diplomat: Hillary Clinton confidants separated out potentially damaging documents from those turned over to the accountability review board. That board is investigating security lapses surrounding the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.
  • Millionaire business woman accused of poisoning autistic son

    Millionaire business woman accused of poisoning autistic son

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 6:31 AM EDT2014-09-16 10:31:38 GMT
    New York (CNN) -- Gigi Jordan showed no emotion as a New York prosecutor described to a jury a "chilling and horrifying scenario" in which the businesswoman who made a fortune in pharmaceuticals allegedly concocted a lethal cocktail of painkillers and anti-inflammatories and forced her 8-year-old autistic son to swallow it."Two fresh bruises on his nose, fresh bruises on his chin and chest suggest she got on top of him and, hopefully while he was asleep, filled a syringe with the poisonous co...
    New York (CNN) -- Gigi Jordan showed no emotion as a New York prosecutor described to a jury a "chilling and horrifying scenario" in which the businesswoman who made a fortune in pharmaceuticals allegedly concocted a lethal cocktail of painkillers and anti-inflammatories and forced her 8-year-old autistic son to swallow it."Two fresh bruises on his nose, fresh bruises on his chin and chest suggest she got on top of him and, hopefully while he was asleep, filled a syringe with the poisonous co...
  • FOX25 Slideshows

Most Popular

Stories
Videos
Compiling list...
  • FOX 25 FeaturesMore>>

  • Tell Me Something Good

    Tell Me Something Good

    Tired of all the bad news? Looking for some good news? Tell Me Something Good, does just that! FOX 25's Mike Brooks finds the good in Oklahoma and tells you all about it.
    Tired of all the bad news? Looking for some good news? Tell Me Something Good, does just that! FOX 25's Mike Brooks finds the good in Oklahoma and tells you all about it.
  • Waste Watch

    Waste Watch

    How are your tax dollars being spent? FOX 25 Waste Watch tracks whether local, state and federal governments, or any groups, are using your money wisely... or wasting it.
    How are your tax dollars being spent? FOX 25 Waste Watch tracks whether local, state and federal governments, or any groups, are using your money wisely... or wasting it.
Powered by WorldNow
Powered by 

WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KOKH. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.