TORONTO (AP) — Backers of embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford called Friday for police to release a video that appears to show him smoking a crack pipe, as outraged citizens of Canada's largest city called for the mayor's resignation.
Ford's lawyer and the mayor's brother, a city councilor, attacked Police Chief Bill Blair for talking publicly about the video, despite acknowledging it does not provide enough evidence to file charges against Ford. Police announced Thursday that they had recovered the video during a massive surveillance operation of an associate suspected of providing drugs to the mayor.
Dennis Morris, Ford's lawyer, told The Associated Press that Blair acted as "judge, jury and executioner" when he said he was "disappointed" in the mayor. Ford's brother Doug said the chief erred when he made his personal opinions known to the public.
Ford had claimed the video didn't exist and vowed not to resign, repeating the pledge Thursday.
Voters could have the final word on the strange career of the populist mayor whose travails have captivated and embarrassed Canadians for months. Ford has promised to run for a second term next year.
"I have no reason to resign," Ford told reporters with a smile, as his office welcomed visitors to check out its Halloween decorations Thursday.
The embattled mayor, who is the butt of jokes on U.S. late night television, said he couldn't defend himself because the affair is part of a criminal investigation involving an associate, adding: "That's all I can say right now."
Ford faced allegations in May that he had been caught on video puffing from a glass crack pipe. Two reporters with the Toronto Star along with one from the U.S. website Gawker said they saw the video, but it still has not been released publicly. Ford has maintained he does not smoke crack and that the video did not exist.
Ford has long vilified the Toronto Star, accusing the paper of trying to take him down. The police department's revelations Thursday vindicated the paper's reporting.
Ford was elected mayor three years ago on a wave of discontent simmering in the city's outlying suburbs. Since then he has survived an attempt to remove him from office on conflict-of-interest charges and has appeared in the news for his increasingly odd behavior.
But the pressure ramped up on Thursday with all four major dailies in the city calling on Ford to resign.
Cut pounds of stomach fat every week by using this 1 weird old tip.