Toronto mayor to seek help as new crack video surfaces

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by William M. Welch, USA TODAY

USA TODAY

Posted on May 1, 2014 at 10:29 AM

Updated Thursday, May 1 at 5:53 PM

Embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford said Wednesday he will take a leave of absence and seek treatment for alcohol, as reports surfaced of a second video showing the mayor with what may be crack cocaine.

Ford, who is seeking re-election in the Oct. 27 vote, said he will take an immediate leave from his job and his campaign.

"I have a problem with alcohol, and the choices I have made while under the influence. I have struggled with this for some time," Ford said in a statement late Wednesday.

The Globe and Mail, a Canadian newspaper, reported viewing a second video of the mayor smoking what appeared to be crack cocaine — this one in the basement of his sister's home early Saturday.

The newspaper said two of its reporters were shown the video by a self-professed drug dealer. The video is part "of a package of three videos the dealer said was surreptitiously filmed around 1:15 a.m., and which he says he is now selling for 'at least six figures,'" the newspaper reported.

An earlier video purporting to show Ford smoking crack a year ago triggered a scandal and firestorm and brought calls for his resignation, although he hung on to the mayor's job. Toronto's city council has stripped him of most powers.

Dennis Morris, Ford's lawyer, said he spoke with Ford on Wednesday. "He acknowledges he has a substance abuse problem and he wants to do something about it," he said.

Ford acknowledged last year after months of denials that he smoked crack in a "drunken stupor" after police said they had a video that appears to be him.

Meanwhile, The Toronto Sun reported that it obtained audio of Ford making offensive remarks about other politicians at a bar earlier this week.

John Tory, who is also running for mayor, called on Ford to resign "for the good of the city.''

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