By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Friday May 3, 2014
Rob Ford taking leave of absence, seeking help for substance abuse
Toronto Sun, Globe and Mail report details of new, separate alleged recordings of Toronto mayor
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is taking a leave of absence to seek help for substance abuse amid reports that two new recordings — one of unruly behaviour, the other of apparent drug use — have surfaced.
“I have decided to take a leave from campaigning and from my duties as mayor to seek immediate help,” Ford said in a statement released shortly before 11 p.m. ET Wednesday.
“I have a problem with alcohol and the choices I have made while under the influence. I have struggled with this for some time.”
Later in the statement, the mayor said, “I know that I need professional help.”
Ford does not plan to drop out of the election, according to his lawyer, Dennis Morris, who spoke to CBC News earlier in the evening.
The news comes amid reports that two new recordings of Ford have surfaced. The Toronto Sun reported late Wednesday it had obtained a new and “raunchy” audio recording of Ford “ranting and swearing” in a Toronto-area bar on Monday night.
The Globe and Mail claims to have seen a second video, shot last weekend, of Ford smoking what the paper said “a self-professed drug dealer” described as crack cocaine.
The news comes amid a rocky re-election campaign in which Ford has repeatedly described himself as a changed man who has learned from the mistakes of his first term as mayor.
His leave of absence appears to leave Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly in charge, though city council already handed Kelly many of Ford’s mayoral powers last fall. (Source: CBC News)
#RobFord falling from grace; hitting rock bottom; Repeat #TOpoli http://t.co/2ykHSlUn7V pic.twitter.com/Evcr6sZaws
— mackaycartoons (@mackaycartoons) May 2, 2014
REPUBLISHED in iPolitics, The St. John’s Telegram, and the Brandon Sun.