Toronto’s mayor, Rob Ford, has threatened to take legal action against former aides who spoke to police about their concerns about his drug use.
Ford was reacting on Thursday to details in court documents that revealed more allegations about his behavior, including drunken driving and verbal abuse, which fed a political storm that has already consumed Toronto for months.
Ford acknowledged that he might have drunk alcohol while driving. But he said he would take legal action against his former chief of staff Mark Towhey and two other aides over their interviews with police. He did not say what he would sue them for, however.
He added that he would also take action against a waiter who told police that he snorted cocaine in a restaurant, describing the report as “outright lies”.
‘Impaired, driving fast’
The court documents are part of a drug case against Ford’s driver. They include some of Ford’s ex-employees expressing concerns about his drug use and drink-driving, with one alleging he saw Ford “impaired, driving very fast” and frightening a female staffer who was in the car with him.
In another incident, Ford was described by a former staff member as being “very inebriated, verbally abusive and inappropriate with” a female staff member on St Patrick’s Day.
Another former staff member reported seeing the mayor drunk in his office about 15 to 20 times in the year he worked for him.
Ford earlier this month admitted to using crack cocaine once, in a “drunken stupor”, and has refused to resign from his position.
Outraged city councilors – who voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to call on Ford to take a leave of absence – turned their backs on the mayor as he addressed the council on Thursday.