Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Apologizes for Calling Media 'A Bunch of Maggots'
The embattled city leader has also seen key staff resign and police detectives investigating allegations of crack cocaine use captured on a smartphone video.
TORONTO – Facing a growing crack cocaine video scandal turning to farce, embattled Toronto mayor Rob Ford on Monday had to apologize to the City Hall press corps after calling them “a bunch of maggots” on his weekly radio show.
His attack on the media Sunday was also followed Monday by the resignation of George Christopoulos, Ford’s press secretary, and Isaac Ransom, the mayor’s deputy press secretary.
And earlier on Friday, Mark Towhey, Ford’s chief of staff, was reportedly fired and escorted by security out of Toronto City Hall after telling the mayor in private to resign and seek medical help.
That followed the U.S. gossip website Gawker and the Toronto Star newspaper both revealing they had viewed a smartphone video of a disoriented Toronto mayor allegedly smoking crack cocaine.
“I do not use crack cocaine, nor am I an addict of crack cocaine,” Ford told the media Friday as he addressed the allegations against him for the first time.
That statement failed to quell the growing scandal, which includes reports that Toronto police detectives last week talked to a senior member of the Ford mayoralty staff about the crack video allegations.
“Everything’s fine. I have no idea what the police are investigating. It’s better that you talk to the police about that,” Ford said Monday when asked about the reported involvement of Toronto police in the affair.
Ford also cited the stress the crack cocaine video scandal has caused himself and his family, before adding that "doesn't justify using the terminology I did describing the media” as maggots.
In the meantime, Gawker reports it has raised the $200,000 required to purchase and broadcast the smartphone video in question.
At the same time, both Gawker and the Toronto Star indicate they have lost contact with the Canadian Somalian drug peddlers that earlier announced they would auction off the smartphone video featuring the Toronto mayor.