Rob Ford admits to drinking after video from restaurant surfaces

Don Peat, Shawn Jeffords, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:00 PM ET

TORONTO - Mayor Rob Ford is mired in scandal again after admitting he was drinking alcohol Monday night just two months after he swore he had a "come-to-Jesus moment" and given up booze.

Ford's confession Tuesday came just a few hours after a YouTube video surfaced showing him slurring his words, swearing and complaining about Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair at Steak Queen restaurant.

But Ford, his staff and his lawyer have yet to respond to a second YouTube video that surfaced shortly after his brief public statement that appears to show him at the same restaurant meeting with a man resembling Alexander "Sandro" Lisi.

Late last year, the courts released months of Toronto Police surveillance from Project Brazen 2 that included several meetings between Ford and Lisi. Lisi has been charged with extortion in connection with the mayor's crack video and is still facing drug charges from the ongoing investigation.


The latest controversy comes just as executive committee prepares to meet Wednesday to debate the city's 2014 budget.

Ford, who was stripped of most of his powers last year due to his crack scandal, spent less than three hours at City Hall Tuesday, while Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly -- who now holds most of the mayor's power -- spent the day meeting with councillors and staff to prepare for the meeting and ensure a smooth budget process.

The embattled mayor quickly admitted Tuesday that he was drinking again despite publicly stating two months ago that he had sworn off boozing after a "come-to-Jesus moment" following his admission to smoking crack cocaine while in a "drunken stupor."

"Yes, I was (drinking)," Ford said as he left City Hall around 4:30 p.m. "A little bit, yeah."

"I was with some friends. What I do in my personal life and my personal friends, that's up to me. It has nothing to do with you guys. It's on my own time."

Ford didn't reveal who were the "friends" he was with at the restaurant and said "no" repeatedly when he was asked if he did any drugs on Monday night or drove to the restaurant.

"I was there, I met some friends ... that's how I speak with some of my friends," he said. "I don't think it was discriminative at all."

In the video, Ford is ranting with a heavy Jamaican accent.

"----sucker ... f---ing Chief Blair ... they chased me around for five months, man," Ford says in the video. "Bumbaclot."

Bumbaclot is a Jamaican swear word -- Ford repeats it several times in the video.

"They tried to tell me, bro, we're counter-surveilling ya guy. He's hiding here, I'm a hiding here. F--- off. You know how much money that costs," he said.

"Serious s---, man, serious s---, bro."

Someone else in the video lauds Ford as the "best mayor in the world." and says he "deserves to be better than" Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Ford disagrees.

"I don't bull----, I'm a straight-up guy, ya know," he says.

Toronto Police spokesman Mark Pugash declined to comment on Ford's statements in the first video.

"We don't respond to personal attacks," Pugash said.

QMI Agency has been unable to independently confirm when the second video was shot or speak to the person who filmed it. But the video does show an open copy of this weekend's Sunday edition of the Toronto Sun on a table, establishing it was filmed either on Sunday or Monday.

Ford and Lisi have met at Steak Queen before.

Police surveillance shows the two met with another man at the restaurant on Aug. 21 and "all three appeared to be under the influence of alcohol and or drug but not to the state of impairment."

Asked about the mayor's drinking admission, Deputy Mayor Kelly said he regrets to see it happen.

"If I was asked for any advice, it would be the same advice I gave him previously -- take a pause, seek professional help," Kelly said.

- With files from Shawn Jeffords


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