Toronto’s city council has voted to limit Rob Ford’s authority at the end of an embarrassing week for the mayor, who has acknowledged smoking crack cocaine and drinking while driving and who used an obscenity in responding to an accusation that he sought oral sex with a female aide.
As a result of the vote, Ford will lose his power to dismiss his deputy mayor and members of Toronto’s executive committee, who are responsible for the city’s budget. The council plans to remove additional powers next week.
Until Ford is convicted of a crime, the council is barred from removing him from office. Police Chief Bill Blair said last month that law enforcement officials had recovered footage of the mayor using a crack pipe, but he added that the evidence is insufficient for criminal charges.
Court documents from a police investigation, however, paint a disturbing picture of Ford’s style of leadership:
Former staff members of Ford told police that the mayor smoked marijuana in front of them, used Oxycontin, hung around with a suspected prostitute, drove after drinking, and had city staff regularly deliver alcohol to him.
None of these allegations have been proven in court.
Ford was wearing the jersey of the Toronto Argonauts at the time of his obscene comments Thursday, drawing a note of protest from the football team. Ford later apologized for his language, saying he had lost his temper in response to what he called the false statements in the court documents.