Skip to main content

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's ex-staffers detail erratic behavior in documents

By Chandrika Narayan and Mariano Castillo, CNN
November 14, 2013 -- Updated 1246 GMT (2046 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Court documents allege erratic, sometimes abusive behavior by mayor
  • NEW: Women "smoked joints" with Mayor Ford, staffers say in documents
  • Toronto City Council votes to ask mayor to take leave of absence
  • Ford tells council he bought illegal drugs in last 2 years

(CNN) -- Explosive new allegations surfaced about embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford in court documents released Wednesday -- the same day the city council voted to ask him to take a leave of absence.

The court report, more than 500 pages long, alleges a pattern of drug use, and erratic and sometimes abusive behavior by the mayor. A judge ordered the report's release late last month.

The documents include police interviews with former staff members, information obtained from surveillance crews and cameras, and even an examination of the mayor's garbage.

The documents were used by Canadian police to get a search warrant for Alexander Lisi, Ford's friend and occasional driver, whom police accuse of marijuana possession and trafficking.

Toronto Mayor: 'I am not a drug addict!'
Embattled Toronto mayor won't step down
Crack-smoking mayor spawns bobblehead

Several staffers said they were asked to buy alcohol for the mayor. One incident described by a former staffer alleged that Ford, while driving, stopped the vehicle, guzzled some vodka, and drove on.

Chris Fickel, who worked as a special assistant to Ford, said the mayor would ask him to perform odd jobs at his house. Fickel said he would be called "to change light bulbs in the front lawn, change batteries in his children's toys, buying cartons of cigarettes, bleach, laundry detergent and diet Coke for the mayor's wife."

One staffer told police the mayor was inebriated on St. Patrick's Day in 2012 and got into a physical altercation with two staff members. He alleges the mayor was verbally abusive and inappropriate with a female staff member.

Another staffer said the same night, he saw a woman who may have been an escort or prostitute in the mayor's office.

Ford's former press secretary George Christopoulos also said women often came to the mayor's office, "and told staffers that they have smoked a joint with the mayor on the street outside of the bar. These women were told by the mayor that they could have a job." Christopoulos would then have to interview these women and try to talk them out of a job.

None of the allegations against Ford has been proven, and he faces no criminal charges.

Ford vows to stay on the job

Despite the Toronto City Council's motion, the mayor of Canada's largest city insists he will stay on the job.

Wednesday's vote is largely symbolic -- it does not have the power to force Ford from his post.

The tense council meeting came more than a week after Ford admitted smoking crack cocaine.

Days after that admission, a new video showed a ranting, swearing Ford threatening to kill someone.

Toronto mayor's rant caught on video

During Wednesday's meeting, Ford made a further confession to the council.

He said he has purchased illegal drugs within the past two years, while he was in office.

Despite his escalating troubles, Ford insists he has been a good mayor and that voters will decide during next year's election whether to keep him.

"I have made a mistake. I am human," he said. "I apologize. I want to move on."

Ford said that he is being subjected to a "public flogging" and that the experience has been the most humiliating thing in his life, maybe the worst week in his life next to his father's death.

Despite the admission of drug use and of heavy drinking, Ford flatly denied that he is addicted to alcohol or drugs.

"The reason I drank or did drugs was not because of stress, it was out of sheer stupidity," he said. "That's all it was."

Ford's brother, Councilor Doug Ford, and other family members have defended the embattled mayor.

On Wednesday, Doug Ford appeared on CNN and blamed the scandal on politics.

"Rob does not come into work drunk," he told CNN. "He said he's tried illicit drugs under a drunken stupor."

"And he's not doing drugs. And he's not drinking. So he's moving in the right direction, in my opinion, but the public flogging, never seen anything like it. This man has apologized profusely. He's asked for forgiveness, and the rest is sheer politics down here."

He's not Teflon, but to 'Ford Nation,' Toronto mayor is still their man

CNN's Paula Newton contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
August 27, 2014 -- Updated 0023 GMT (0823 HKT)
Wilson Raj Perumal tells CNN how he rigged World Cup games: "I was giving orders to the coach."
August 29, 2014 -- Updated 0823 GMT (1623 HKT)
He should be toddling around a playground. Instead, his tiny hands grip an AK-47.
August 29, 2014 -- Updated 1652 GMT (0052 HKT)
CNN's Will Ripley travels to North Korea, visiting an international wrestling festival and a slide-filled water park.
August 28, 2014 -- Updated 0920 GMT (1720 HKT)
Our whole solar system appears to be inside a searing gas bubble, scientists say.
August 28, 2014 -- Updated 1230 GMT (2030 HKT)
In a raid on a luxury apartment complex, agents caught up with a French-Algerian man they accuse of bringing back terror to Europe.
August 28, 2014 -- Updated 0002 GMT (0802 HKT)
One journalist murdered, another still being held by ISIS -- a ransom negotiator talks to CNN about trying to get a hostage home alive.
August 27, 2014 -- Updated 1228 GMT (2028 HKT)
Was a police officer justified in shooting and killing Michael Brown?
August 28, 2014 -- Updated 1654 GMT (0054 HKT)
Don't like the country you live in? Meet the people who created their own "micronations."
August 29, 2014 -- Updated 1835 GMT (0235 HKT)
South Africa Music Legends stamps
Artist Hendrik Gericke puts a spotlight on iconic performers from South Africa in these incredible monochrome illustrations.
August 26, 2014 -- Updated 0946 GMT (1746 HKT)
We asked you what you would like to know about Ebola. Experts answer some of your most common questions and concerns.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT