Rob Ford: 'I have no reason to resign'

Rob Ford at city hall, October 31, 2013. Reuters

Rob Ford at city hall, October 31, 2013. Reuters

Chris Doucette, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:12 PM ET

TORONTO - Toronto Mayor Rob Ford rejected calls that he resign despite revelations from police Chief Bill Blair that investigators have the controversial video which purportedly shows the civic leader smoking crack cocaine.

With various city councillors demanding the mayor of Canada’s largest city step aside, Ford is supposed to take the spotlight on Friday to launch Toronto’s 2014 water and garbage budgets.

“I think everybody has seen these allegations against me,” Ford told dozens of reporters and photographers in front of his city hall office on Thursday. “I wish I could come out and defend myself. Unfortunately, I can’t because it is before the courts and that’s all I can say right now.


“I have no reason to resign ... I’m going to be out doing what the people elected me to do and that’s save taxpayers’ money and run a great government.”

It’s up to Ford to determine if he stays on the job. City council cannot force the mayor to resign or even step aside temporarily.

Blair said police do not have any evidence that would warrant the laying of a charge against Ford.

Ford’s started his day by clashing with reporters in front of his west Toronto home -- pushing a Toronto Sun photographer and a CBC cameraman off his property.

Media lawyers succeeded in securing the release of a 500-page court document on Thursday which revealed police launched Project Brazen 2 to investigate the existence of the crack video.

The document chronicles Ford’s relationship with Alexander “Sandro” Lisi, who is slated to appear in court on Friday accused of extortion.

Lisi was charged last month with marijuana trafficking. Police revealed Thursday that he was arrested again on an extortion charge related to the controversial Ford video.

The court document includes photo surveillance images of the mayor’s meetings with Lisi and interviews with Ford’s former staffers.

Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly issued a statement late Thursday promising to speak to Ford privately to provide advice and urging councillors to continue doing their “fine work.”

Ford’s administration has been under fire after Gawker.com first reported about a cellphone video being offered for sale that appeared to show the mayor smoking crack cocaine.

On Thursday, Blair confirmed cops came into possession of the notorious video this week. He revealed “the mayor does appear in the video” but wouldn’t discuss the contents of it other than to say it matches what has been reported publicly.

“As a citizen of Toronto, I’m disappointed,” Blair said, describing how he felt when he watched the video. “I know this is a traumatic issue for the citizens of this city and for the reputation of this city.”

Blair revealed police arrested Lisi, 35, Thursday and charged him with extortion.

Investigators allege Lisi “made extortive efforts to retrieve a recording.”

The chief said the mayor has not been interviewed in connection with Brazen 2 but refused comment on whether investigators have tried to talk to Ford.

-- With files from Chris Doucette, Terry Davidson and Sam Pazzano

The Sun is reporting the details of the document. You can read their coverage below as well as the document itself.

 

Court documents link Toronto Mayor Rob Ford to investigation: BRAZEN - ITO - REDACTIONS APPLIED

 

 

 

 


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