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Toronto Mayor Rob Ford in fresh video controversy

Source: Reuters - Mon, 17 Mar 2014 15:53 GMT
Author: Reuters
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TORONTO, March 17 (Reuters) - Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, who made global headlines last year after admitting he had smoked crack cocaine, was caught up in fresh controversy on Monday after a new video showed him agitated and apparently swearing outside city hall.

The video was taken on Saturday evening by the 13-year-old son of a woman who shared the footage with CTV News. CTV said the woman did not want to be identified.

Ford said last year he had smoked crack, probably in a "drunken stupor". He also said he had quit drinking, but in February he acknowledged he had since been drinking, though not excessively.

CTV News posted a censored version of the short new clip on Sunday, but said it had not confirmed the video was authentic.

CTV said the woman was with her son on Saturday evening when they came across the mayor. In the blurry, dark video, a woman off camera says: "I just want to tell you, you're awesome," and asks the mayor to have a picture taken with her son.

Later in the video Ford tells several unidentified men that he needs a taxi to get home, and then starts to shout something that CTV censored. CTV said that he swore loudly.

Asked by CTV on Sunday whether he had been partying, Ford said: "Give me a break, guys."

The mayor could not immediately be reached for comment on Monday morning.

Many bars in Toronto celebrated St. Patrick's Day, March 17, on Saturday.

A security personnel email leaked to local media last year said the mayor had been intoxicated at city hall on the evening of St. Patrick's Day 2012, carrying around half-empty bottle of brandy and trying to find a car he had actually left at home. Ford later apologized, saying he had been "a little out of control".

In January, another video emerged of Ford ranting and slurring his words at a suburban restaurant. He admitted he had been drinking when the video was shot, calling it a "minor setback". (Reporting by Allison Martell; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson; and Peter Galloway)

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