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TORONTO – Faced with video evidence of allegedly smoking from a crack pipe, an emotional Toronto Mayor Rob Ford on Sunday begged for forgiveness for “mistakes,” without specifying what they were and what he will do to change his ways.
“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 told listeners to his weekly radio program on Newstalk 1010.
The mayor of Canada’s biggest city is fighting for his political life after Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair on Thursday said a “video digital file” had been recovered that allegedly shows Ford smoking from a glass pipe.
“I sincerely, sincerely apologize,” the mayor said.
“There’s no one to blame but myself and I take full responsibility for it,” he added.
Toronto police this past week concluded an extensive investigation into Ford and the existence of the infamous crack cocaine video first revealed by the U.S. gossip website Gawker in May 2013. Police made public extensive evidence of regular phone and personal contact with alleged drug dealer Alexander “Sandro” Lisi.
Lisi on Friday was formally charged with extortion and released on bail, apparently in connection with efforts last May to recover the infamous crack cocaine videotape after its existence was revealed by Gawker and the Toronto Star.
The recent police surveillance of Ford followed the mayor becoming ensnared in a wider drug and gang investigation by Toronto police.
At the same time, Ford told the radio program that he will “ride this storm out” and campaign for re-election as Toronto mayor in one year’s time.
“I am going to continue doing my job that I was elected to do,” Ford said, growing suddenly emotional on air before Doug Ford, his brother and a Toronto councilor, took over the microphone.
While indicating he will get a driver to ferry him around on city business, Ford stopped short of admitting to any alcohol or drug addiction as has long been suspected by political foe and friend alike.
“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 said, without being specific.
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