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Heated meeting over Toronto mayor scandal gets physical


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In interviews with police, former Ford staffers have made further accusations, saying the mayor drank heavily, sometimes drove while intoxicated and pressured a female staffer to engage in oral sex.

On Thursday, Ford spouted an obscenity on live television while denying the sex allegation, saying he was "happily married" and using crude language to assert that he enjoys enough oral sex at home.

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Last week, after admitting to excessive drinking and buying illegal drugs, Ford disclosed that he is seeking medical help. But he and his family insist he is not an addict and does not need rehab.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper — like Ford a Conservative — was due in Toronto on Monday to meet with area Parliament members from his party. Harper has been a guest at an annual summer barbecue hosted by Ford and his family, but has had little to say in public about the mayor’s ongoing troubles.

With Ford refusing to step aside, even temporarily, the City Council took its first steps to weaken his powers on Friday, voting 39-3 to suspend his authority to appoint and dismiss the deputy mayor and the executive committee. The council also voted to give the deputy mayor authority to handle any civic emergency.

Ford, 44, was elected three years ago with overwhelming support from Toronto’s conservative-leaning outer suburbs, where many voters felt angry about what they considered wasteful spending and elitist politics at City Hall. He campaigned on promises to "stop the gravy train" by curbing public spending and keeping taxes low.

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Associated Press writers David Martin and Charmaine Noronha contributed to this report.




Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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