TORONTO — Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is considering entering a rehab program, his lawyer said Friday, in the first indication the mayor might bow to pressure to seek help — if not step aside — after he admitted to smoking crack and a video surfaced of him ranting and threatening to kill someone.
The lawyer, Dennis Morris, said Friday that Ford is “considering his options” and treatment is “one of them.” He said the mayor needs to say what he plans to do himself because “when you go left, he goes right.”
Ford has apologized for bad behavior, but his refusal to resign or take a leave of absence has frustrated his opponents and allies on Toronto’s City Council, which has no legal way to force him out unless he is convicted of a crime.
The mayor was mobbed by reporters at City Hall on Friday but refused to discuss what his next steps would be. “I’m dealing with a serious personal issue right now. Please give me this time,” he said before walking into an elevator.
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In another sign of Ford’s growing isolation, the mayor’s radio show was taken off the air. NewsTalk 1010 announced that Ford and his brother “have mutually determined to conclude broadcasts of ‘The City,’ ending with last week’s show.”
Ford’s influential brother, meanwhile, said he has urged the mayor “to go away for a couple of weeks,” although he reinforced the family’s stance that Ford has no reason to resign. Doug Ford, a city councilor, said his brother needs a vacation and needs to work on his weight.
The mayor, a conservative who was elected three years ago on promises to “stop the gravy train at City Hall,” has vowed to seek re-election.
But his three-year tenure has been consumed by scandals ranging from the petty — making rude gestures at people from his car — to the more serious — being fired from his side job as a volunteer high-school football coach after making disparaging remarks about parents and their kids, and making appearances during which he seemed to be drunk.
The comments from Morris and the mayor’s brother came a day after the video surfaced showing Ford threatening to kill an unidentified person. The mayor said he was “extremely, extremely inebriated” in the video and “embarrassed.”
The video surfaced two days after the mayor finally admitted to having smoked crack while in a “drunken stupor” about a year ago.