Skip to main content

Toronto mayor says he won't resign despite possibly damning video

By Kristina Sgueglia, CNN
November 3, 2013 -- Updated 1806 GMT (0206 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Toronto police have a video of Mayor Rob Ford apparently using drugs
  • The mayor, who has denied the allegation, says he has no reason to resign
  • Police say they recovered a video of Ford that had been reported on in the media
  • Two news agencies reported that they saw a video showing Ford doing drugs

(CNN) -- Toronto's mayor says he will not resign despite a claim Thursday by the police chief that investigators recovered a video of the mayor that purportedly shows him smoking a crack pipe.

The video was recovered from deleted files on a computer hard drive that was seized during a drug and gang investigation, according to a 465-page police report.

Earlier this year, allegations surfaced in two media outlets that Rob Ford was recorded on video last winter using crack cocaine.

Police Chief William Blair told reporters Thursday that a video was discovered in connection with the investigation but did not describe its contents.

The video "depicts images with what has previously been reported," Blair said.

Mayor denies smoking crack, questions scandalous video's veracity

Ford's crack scandal good business?
Two more leave Toronto mayor's camp
Toronto mayor fights drug accusation
Toronto mayor sorry for 'maggots' remark

In May, the website Gawker and the Toronto Star newspaper published stories saying their reporters had seen 90 seconds of a cell-phone video showing the 44-year-old Ford, as the Star described it, "inhaling from what appears to be a glass crack pipe."

Later in the video -- as described by the Star -- an "incoherent" man both the Star and Gawker claimed to be Ford ranted about a number of subjects. The video, which has never been released publicly, shows a "clearly impaired mayor," two reporters who say they saw the video wrote in the Star.

Ford, who has repeatedly denied using crack cocaine, said he has no reason to resign.

"I wish I could come out and defend myself. Unfortunately, I can't because it's before the courts and that's all I can say right now," Ford told CNN partner CBC News.

Ford has not been charged with anything.

Toronto police had already been investigating drug and gang activity when reports first surfaced of an alleged video featuring the mayor smoking crack.

In a police report ordered released to the public Thursday, Ford's name and image repeatedly popped up. The report detailed an investigation into drug, gang and criminal activity in Toronto.

The lengthy police report, which includes hundreds of redacted pages, revealed that police sources believe the photo of Ford that first surfaced in May, along with the salacious report, is taken in front of a "trap" house used to "chop" crack.

Police documents also detail evidence used to obtain a search warrant for a man suspected of drug trafficking, Alexander (Sandro) Lisi, who police also say is the mayor's friend as well as his driver.

Lisi's attorney, Seth P. Weinstein, did not immediately respond to a CNN request for comment.

Photos collected by police show Ford and Lisi together on a number of occasions, including attending a Toronto Maple Leafs hockey game, according to the documents.

Lisi was arrested Thursday and charged with extortion, according to a police statement. Lisi is accused of using extortion to retrieve a recording, it said.

Details about the recording were not publicly released. But Blair, the police chief, said a digital video in police custody will be shown in court in an effort to support the charge against Lisi.

Lisi appeared in court Friday for a bail hearing and was released, Weinstein said.

Addicts shoot up in safe haven in Canada

CNN's Julia Talanova contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 0242 GMT (1042 HKT)
Successful launch of lunar orbiter, seen as a precursor for a planned mission to the surface of the moon, marks significant advance for the country's space program.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 1915 GMT (0315 HKT)
Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, shot while standing guard at Ottawa's National War Memorial, was known for his easygoing manner and smile.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 2006 GMT (0406 HKT)
Non-stop chatter about actress' appearance is nasty, cruel, hurtful, invasive and sexist.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 2208 GMT (0608 HKT)
CEO's 30-min Putonghua chat is the perfect charm offensive for Facebook's last untapped market.
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 0345 GMT (1145 HKT)
Chinese leaders want less odd architecture built in the country.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 2058 GMT (0458 HKT)
Air New Zealand's new 'Hobbit' safety video stars Peter Jackson, Elijah Wood, elves and orcs.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 1414 GMT (2214 HKT)
A 15-year-old pregnant girl is rescued from slavery, only to be charged with having sex outside of marriage, shocked rights activists say -- a charge potentially punishable by death.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 0333 GMT (1133 HKT)
After sushi and ramen, beef is on the list of must-eats for many visitors to Japan.
October 20, 2014 -- Updated 1607 GMT (0007 HKT)
Airports judged on comfort, conveniences, cleanliness and customer service.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 1748 GMT (0148 HKT)
Scientists use CT scans to recreate a life-size image of the ancient king.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 0959 GMT (1759 HKT)
Despite billions spent on eradicating poppy production, Afghan farmers are growing bumper crops, a U.S. government report says.
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 1021 GMT (1821 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT