Toronto mayor uses obscenity as he denies sexual harassment

Nov. 14, 2013 at 1:58 PM
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TORONTO, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- Toronto Mayor Rob Ford threatened to sue former aides Thursday, while making an obscene denial he had made sexual advances to a former staffer.

The mayor was responding to the release Wednesday of police documents that quoted former members of his staff, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported. They said the mayor had consorted with a prostitute and done drugs in a Toronto nightspot on St. Patrick's Day.

Talking to reporters, Ford named as legal targets his former chief of staff and his former press secretary, as well as a waiter at the Bier Markt in downtown Toronto.

"I have to take legal action against the waiter that said I was doing lines at the Bier Markt, that is outright lies. That is not true," he said, referring to the alleged St. Patrick's Day incident.

Ford's life has been unraveling since the Toronto Star reported on an alleged video that showed the mayor smoking crack. On Wednesday, the city council passed a resolution calling for him to take a leave of absence.

The council has no power to remove the mayor, but members are proposing measures to strip him of much of his power. They could come up for a vote Friday.

Talking about the staff member who said she had been sexually harassed, Ford quoted her as saying he had wanted to perform oral sex, using a slang term for the female sexual organ.

"I've never said that in my life to her. I would never do that. I'm happily married. I've got more than enough to eat at home."

After shocking reporters, Ford retreated into his office. But he emerged a few minutes later to address stories of drunk driving, acknowledging there have been times when he got behind the wheel after a "few drinks."

The Toronto Argonauts, a Canadian Football League team, issued a statement saying it was "disappointing" Ford wore a team jersey while talking to the news media.

None of the incidents described in the police documents have been proved. They were reported by several people who worked in city hall or who said they were present.

Ford has admitted he bought illegal drugs in the past two years and used crack cocaine. Toronto's City Council voted Wednesday to ask Ford to take a leave of absence.

The documents indicated police said they were told by Isaac Ransom, Ford's former special assistant of communications, that the mayor seemed to be close to a woman suspected of being an escort or prostitute, who allegedly had hashish and marijuana on St. Patrick's Day 2012 the mayor wanted to use. Ford described the woman as a friend and said she is not a prostitute.

The documents said they also were told that Mark Towhey, Ford's former chief of staff, saw the mayor ingesting what Towhey believed to be the prescription painkiller Oxycontin on St. Patrick's Day last year.

Police said they also were told the mayor appeared to have snorted cocaine in a restaurant that same day, the CBC said.

The police documents also indicated Ford apparently tried to fight with another city official and uttered racist remarks.

Police say they were told by a member of the mayor's staff he was regularly called upon to change light bulbs at the mayor's home, replace the batteries in his kids' toys or buy grocery goods for the mayor's wife, CBC reported. The staffer said he and others were asked to buy liquor for the mayor as well.

Topics: Marijuana
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