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TORONTO – Toronto mayor Rob Ford late Tuesday chose not to step down after earlier in the day admitting to smoking crack cocaine.
The embattled politician told reporters of his decision not to resign during a statement at City Hall following a growing chorus of calls for him to do so.
“I have nothing left to hide,” an emotional Ford told a press conference, afterward declining to take questions from the media.
Aside from repeating an apology without specifying why, the mayor made no mention of taking a holiday, a leave of absence or entering rehab.
“For the sake of the taxpayers of this great city, for the sake of the taxpayers, we must get back to work, immediately,” Ford said, adding: “We must keep Toronto moving forward. I was elected to do a job. And that’s exactly what I’m going to continue doing.”
Ford said he had kept the truth about his drug taking from his family, staff and colleagues because “I was embarrassed and ashamed.” But he also looked ahead to 2014 when he pledged to run for re-election.
“I know I have to regain your trust and your confidence. I love my job. I love my job. I love this city, and I love saving taxpayer money. And I love being your mayor,” he said.
Ford has remained steadfast against resigning from his post since allegations of crack cocaine use first surfaced in May 2013 on the U.S. gossip website Gawker.
Earlier in the day, Ford surprised the media with an admission that he had smoked crack cocaine a year ago.
“Exactly. Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine,” Ford told reporters at City Hall after the Toronto police last week revealed they have recovered the infamous video that Gawker first reported on in May 2013.
Despite his jaw-dropping confession, the mayor denies he has a drug addiction.
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