Skip to main content

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford admits 'mistakes,' won't resign

By Matt Smith, CNN
updated 12:51 PM EST, Tue November 5, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Ford says his apology covers "a lot of stupid things" but provides few details
  • NEW: Caller urges him to take medical leave: "Your family deserves better"
  • Police say they have video of Toronto mayor "consistent with" reports of him smoking a crack pipe
  • Ford calls for the video to be released and says he won't resign

(CNN) -- Embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford apologized for "a lot of stupid things" Sunday but said he won't resign despite reports that police have video that purportedly shows him smoking a crack pipe.

"Friends, I'm the first one to admit I am not perfect. I have made mistakes. I have made mistakes, and all I can do right now is apologize for the mistakes," Ford said during an appearance on Toronto radio station CFRB.

"I want to move forward, but I also know to move forward I have to make changes in my life, which I can assure you that I will do," he added. "I love the work I do, and I'm going to keep doing it."

Ford co-hosted CFRB's "The City" with his brother Doug, a member of Toronto's city council. In response to callers, he said his apology referred to two previously reported incidents where he appeared to have been drunk in public and "a lot of stupid things, all self-inflicted" that he didn't detail.

Toronto mayor: 'I am not perfect'
Ford's crack scandal good business?
Two more leave Toronto mayor's camp
Toronto mayor fights drug accusation

He has repeatedly denied using crack and has not been charged with any crime. In May, two media outlets began to report that Ford was recorded on video last winter using crack cocaine. Thursday, Toronto Police Chief William Blair told reporters that investigators had recovered a video from a computer seized during a drug investigation that featured images "consistent with those that have previously been reported in the press."

Blair said Ford appears in the video but would not detail what he's doing. Ford said Sunday that he hasn't seen the video, and he called on Blair "to release this video for every single person in the city to see."

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

"That is the right thing to do, and Chief, I'm asking you to release this video now," Ford said. "Whatever this video shows, folks, Toronto residents deserve to see it, and people need to judge for themselves what they see on this video."

Ford was elected to a four-year term in 2010 and has touted tax cuts and streamlined government under his administration. He told listeners that he wanted to finish his term and let voters decide whether they want to keep him in 2014.

"Unfortunately, I cannot change the past. I can just move forward and learn from the past, which I assure you I am doing," he said.

Most of the calls taken on the show were from self-described supporters, some of whom urged Ford to step down.

"I am not a hater, and we all make mistakes, and none of us are perfect," one woman said. "I just personally believe that maybe you need some time away and come back fresh." Another told Ford, "I want you to take a medical leave. Just a medical leave .The city will survive. You need it ... Please listen to me. Your family deserves better."

But others urged him to hang tough: "I think you're just getting railroaded by the corrupt media," another caller said.

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.

Then, police recovered video from deleted files on a computer hard drive that was seized during a drug and gang investigation, according to a 465-page report by Toronto police disclosed last week. The report includes hundreds of redacted pages and states that police sources believe the photo of Ford that first surfaced in May 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 say is the mayor's friend as well as his driver. 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. He is accused of using extortion to retrieve a recording, it said.

Blair said a digital video in police custody will be shown in court in an effort to support the charge against Lisi, who was released after a bail hearing Friday, his lawyer, Seth Weinstein, said.

Addicts shoot up in safe haven in Canada

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:39 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Tethered to an IV drip, 71-year-old Shin Young Ja lies under a thin fleece blanket, nursing a broken back and wracked with survivor's guilt.
updated 7:48 AM EDT, Mon April 21, 2014
The Vice-Principal of Danwon High School was rescued from sinking ferry last week. Two days later he took his own life, wracked with survivor's guilt.
updated 7:23 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Family members of the missing passengers are pinning slim hopes on floundering air pockets.
updated 2:29 AM EDT, Mon April 21, 2014
The world's most memorable accommodations don't always come with five stars. Sewer pipe hotel, anyone?
updated 10:01 PM EDT, Sun April 20, 2014
Love eating? Money? Appreciate efficient population density? HK might be the city for you.
updated 12:14 PM EDT, Thu April 17, 2014
An Iranian mother slaps and then forgives her 17-year old son's murderer in dramatic scenes at the gallows.
updated 7:13 AM EDT, Mon April 21, 2014
Prince George takes a special interest in an Australian animal on a zoo trip.
updated 7:35 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
An "extraordinary" video shows what looks like the largest and most dangerous gathering of al Qaeda in years.
updated 8:30 AM EDT, Mon April 14, 2014
Explore each side's case, reconstructed from Pistorius' court affidavit and the prosecution's case during last year's bail hearing.
updated 8:37 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
Mentions of the 1989 Tiananmen Square student protests or political reform are still censored in China.
updated 5:34 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
The Hadza are one of the last communities of hunter-gatherers in the world -- but losing their land.
updated 9:22 PM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
In choosing to change a traditional practice, Francis is being as radical as Jesus was in his own time.
updated 7:13 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Too weak. Can't handle pressure. Unattractive to sponsors. Susie Wolff has heard it all.
updated 7:07 AM EDT, Mon April 21, 2014
Browse through images you don't always see on news reports from CNN teams around the world.
updated 8:30 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
It's like finding a needle in a universe-wide haystack. Researchers have located a planet roughly the size of Earth that could be habitable.
updated 5:40 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Dubai, long champion of all things biggest, longest and most expensive, will soon have some competition from a neighboring country.
ADVERTISEMENT