SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Nation/World

November 16, 2013

Toronto council strips Ford of powers

(Continued)

“It was a turning point for public sympathy. That type of remark is never ever appropriate in public,” the attorney said, adding that the “media have been attacking him like jackals” and Ford “lost it.”

Ford announced Thursday that he was seeking medical help, though he declined to provide details. Although the mayor has admitted to excessive drinking and using and buying illegal drugs, he and his family insist he is not an addict and does not need rehab.

Still, even Morris said the recently released court documents show the mayor has a drinking problem. But he also criticized police for allowing Ford to drink and drive while under surveillance over the past six months.

“The problem drug Rob has is alcohol, that’s obvious,” Morris told the AP. “What I found very strange is that the police allowed a lot of this to go on under their supervision. If he was drinking and driving and he was impaired they should have stopped him.”

Ford’s troubles began in May when news reports of the crack video surfaced. After months of evading the question, the mayor admitted to having smoked crack when Toronto police announced they had obtained the video. Authorities say the video does not amount to enough evidence to charge the mayor and it has not been released.

Revelations have rapidly surfaced of other startling behavior, including a video showing the mayor threatening to kill someone in an incoherent rant.

It has been a stunning decline for mayor who was elected three years ago with overwhelming support from Toronto’s conservative-leaning suburbs, where many voters felt angry about what they considered wasteful spending and elitist politics at City Hall.

John Filion, the councilor who introduced Friday’s motion, has said the goal is to prevent Ford from firing executive committee members who speak out against him. A motion to be considered Monday, already signed by 28 of the 44 council members, will take away his budget and appoint the deputy mayor as head of the executive committee.

Earlier this week, the council voted overwhelmingly to ask Ford to take a leave of absence, but the motion was non-binding.

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