Hey there, time traveller! This article was published 13/11/2013 (2711 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
TORONTO -- Rob Ford was intoxicated at work, drank while driving and associated with suspected prostitutes, former staffers allege in a court document released hours after the mayor admitted buying illegal drugs while in office.
The shocking claims come from interviews police conducted as part of their investigation into a video that appeared to show Ford smoking crack cocaine.
The previously redacted information -- which contains allegations not proven in court -- was released days after Ford himself proclaimed he had nothing left to hide. It suggests staff members were concerned their often erratic boss was abusing alcohol and drugs.
Ford ended months of denials last week with his stunning admission he had smoked crack cocaine while in office, saying he had likely tried it in one of his "drunken stupors."
Many of his former staffers told police they thought the mayor was an alcoholic, something Ford has denied.
The mayor refused to comment Wednesday when asked about the latest allegations, instead telling reporters to "be very careful on what you write."
The document revealed police were looking into the possibility the so-called crack video was on the cellphone of Anthony Smith -- a man photographed with Ford and two alleged gang members outside a home police allege is a "crack house."
Smith was killed outside a club in late March and the police allegations reveal his cellphone "was stolen at the time of his murder."
One former Ford staffer told police the mayor had told him he knew Smith, the police document shows. Another staffer told police Ford did not know Smith.
During a heated city council debate over a motion urging Ford to take a leave of absence Wednesday, Ford denied the home is a "crack house" and said the meeting with the three men was a "one-off."
City council voted overwhelmingly in support of the motion, but it is non-binding and despite mounting pressure for him to resign or step aside, Ford said he's not going anywhere.
"I really effed up," Ford said, not long after admitting he had purchased illegal drugs in the past two years.
World media followed the raucous debate, which twice had to be shut down because it erupted in shouts and jeers and saw Ford asking for all councillors to undergo drug and alcohol testing -- with both CNN and ABC carrying part of it live.
Ford has insisted his admitted substance use has not affected his work, but according to the document some former staffers told police they had seen him use drugs, drunk on the job, missing hours and even days of work and essentially working part-time. One ex-staffer described the mayor's working hours as 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
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Ford goes "M.I.A." when he's "under the influence," one staffer told police. The mayor missed work and cancelled appointments at the beginning of his term, the documents say. The ex-employees, many of whom left in the wake of Toronto Star and Gawker reports of the crack video, had never seen him using crack cocaine, but several reported his marijuana use.
Several of the staffers' allegations centre around the night of St. Patrick's Day last year, where, according to the document, a former staffer told police he saw Ford with another staffer, a friend and a young, blond woman named Alana who he thought was "an escort or a prostitute." The document says ex-staffer Isaac Ransom told police the same woman had been seen with Ford at a stag party.
Ransom told police Ford was drinking from a 40-ounce bottle of Smirnoff vodka and by the time he arrived at the mayor's office that night around 9 p.m. half of it was gone, the document says.
"Mayor Ford was totally out of it and had obviously been drinking," Ransom told police.
-- The Canadian Press
Key revelations from the court document, which have not been proven in court:
Police were told the mayor was drunk on St. Patrick's Day last year and was seen with two women "who may have been prostitutes." One former staffer said the mayor returned to city hall with the women and two staffers, whom he assaulted, and then drove himself home.
In another incident that night, Isaac Ransom said Ford "became inappropriate" with a female ex-staffer and a female security guard at city hall, making crude and sexually aggressive comments to both.
Chris Fickel told police that in the fall of last year, he saw the mayor down a mickey of vodka -- roughly 355 ml -- then drive away.
Several former staffers said they regularly bought mickeys of vodka for the mayor -- a request that could come at any time of the day. One said the mayor did not want to be seen purchasing alcohol.
Fickel told investigators he had seen the mayor intoxicated numerous times at the office, football practices and other events, and believed Ford is an alcoholic.
He also told police Ford's friend, Payman Aboodowleh, who coached football with him, was worried "because he thought the mayor did a lot of cocaine."
Ford's former press secretary, George Christopoulos, told police he was approached repeatedly by women claiming the mayor provided them with marijuana and "smoked a joint" with them outside bars. They would then show up at city hall, he said, looking for jobs they said he promised them.
At least two members of Ford's team told police they resigned because the mayor is "incapable of taking direction" and "does not trust anyone."
At least two former staffers told police they believed in the existence of a video showing the mayor appearing to smoke crack cocaine, even though Ford denied it.