(UPI) -- Embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford stood up before a packed at city hall Tuesday afternoon, apologizing for his use of crack cocaine but refusing to step down from office.
Calling the admission "the most difficult and embarrassing thing I have ever had to do," Ford said he felt like "1,000 pounds have been lifted off my shoulders."
"To the residents of Toronto, I know I have let you down and I can't do anything else but apologize and apologize, and I'm so sorry," he said.
Despite pressure to step down, Ford said he had no intention to leave office before next October's election.
"I was elected to do a job and that's exactly what I'm going to continue doing," Ford said. "Folks, I have nothing left to hide."
Earlier Tuesday, Ford told reporters he had never lied, despite speculation over his drug use going back several months.
"Yes I have have smoked crack cocaine," he said. "But no -- do I? Am I an addict? No."
"Have I tried it? Probably in one of my drunken stupors, probably approximately about a year ago," he said. "So I wasn't lying. You didn't ask the correct questions."