Toronto • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s lawyer said Friday the mayor is "considering" rehab, a day after saying he was embarrassed by a new video showing him in a rambling rage, threatening to "murder" someone.
Dennis Morris told The Associated Press on Friday that Ford is "considering his options," including treatment. But he said "it’s best we hear from his lips."
Morris said Ford needs to say he what he plans to do himself because "when you go left, he goes right."
Morris said Thursday was a defining day for the mayor of Canada’s largest city. The mayor said he was "extremely, extremely inebriated" in the video and "embarrassed" by it.
Ford admitted in a stunning confession Tuesday that he smoked crack in a "drunken stupor" about a year ago. Police said last week they have a video of him that appears to show him smoking crack.
The mayor’s travails were taking their toll on his supporters. Canada’s finance minister became emotional when asked about Ford, a longtime friend. His mother and sister appeared on television.
His mother defended him Thursday, saying she has advised him to work on his "huge weight problem" as well as his drinking problem, and watch the company he keeps. But she insisted that her son, who has acknowledged that he smoked crack about a year ago in a "drunken stupor," is not an addict and did not need to enter rehab.
Critics and allies alike renewed their claims that Ford is not fit to lead North America’s fourth largest city after the new video surfaced showing the mayor in a rambling rage. The context of the video is unknown, and it’s unclear who the target of Ford’s wrath is. The video appeared at length on the Toronto Star’s website.
City councilors, meanwhile, moved ahead in efforts to force Ford out of office, although there is no clear legal path for doing so.
The controversy surrounding Ford escalated last week when police announced they had obtained a different, long-sought video that appears to show Ford smoking crack. After months of evading the question, Ford admitted Tuesday to smoking crack in a stunning confession to reporters. He also admitted to a drinking problem on his Sunday radio show.
Despite immense pressure, the mayor has refused to resign or take a leave of absence.
The 44-year-old Ford, who is married with two school-age children, said Thursday he made mistakes and "all I can do is reassure the people. I don’t know what to say."
"It’s extremely embarrassing. The whole world is going to see it," he said.
In the blurry, shaky new video, Ford paces around, waves his arms and rolls up his sleeves as he says he’ll "make sure" the unknown person is dead.
Ford tells another person in the room that he wants to "kill" someone. "Cause I’m going to kill that (expletive) guy," Ford says. "No holds barred, brother. He dies or I die."
The Toronto Star said that it bought the video for $5,000 from "a source who filmed it from someone else’s computer." The newspaper said it was told "the person with the computer was there in the room."
Earlier on Thursday, Morris said he was in talks with the police for Ford to view the video that appears show the mayor smoking crack. Morris said Ford would not answer questions.
Police obtained that video during a drug investigation into the mayor’s friend and occasional driver, and they have said they are prohibited from releasing the video because it is evidence before the courts. Police have not charged Ford, saying the video doesn’t provide enough evidence against him.
Municipal law makes no provision for the mayor’s forced removal from office unless he’s convicted and jailed for a criminal offence.
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