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

By Kristina Sgueglia, CNN
updated 1:06 PM EST, Sun November 3, 2013
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.

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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.

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CNN's Julia Talanova contributed to this report.

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