Toronto Mayor Rob Ford spoke at a news conference just hours after admitting to smoking crack cocaine.
“With today’s announcement, I know I embarrassed everyone in the city and I will be forever sorry. There is only one person to blame for this, and that is myself,” Ford said during the press conference. “I know that admitting my mistake was the right thing to do and I feel like 1,000 pounds has been lifted off my shoulders.”
“I know what I did was wrong, and admitting it was the most difficult and embarrassing thing I have ever had to do. Folks, I have nothing left to hide.”
Ford said that he had kept the incident secret from his family, including his brother Doug, who works as a city councillor.
“To the residents of Toronto, I know I have let you down, and I can’t do anything else but apologise … and I’m so sorry. I know I have to regain your trust and your confidence,” Ford said.
However, Ford indicated he would not resign and would run for election next year again.
“I was elected to do a job, and that’s exactly what I’m going to continue doing,” he said. “I made a commitment to Toronto voters. I have delivered on that commitment, and I will continue to deliver on that commitment of saving taxpayers money. But they have a choice. We live in a democracy. And Oct. 27, 2014, I want the people of this great city to decide whether they want Rob Ford to be their mayor.”
Ford has said in the past that he intends to run for re-election.
The embattled mayor had told the Toronto Sun earlier on Tuesday that he is not stepping down or taking a leave. Ford has been under fire for months since Gawker and the Toronto Star reported on a video that allegedly showed Ford smoking crack from a glass pipe.
Ford has been mayor of Toronto since December 2010. He said earlier on Tuesday that he smoked crack “probably in one of my drunken stupors, probably approximately about a year ago.”
Police announced last week that they had obtained the video that reporters who have seen it say appears to show Ford smoking the drug. Ford repeatedly denied being a crack addict and said that he does not currently use crack, but he previously dodged questions about whether he has ever smoked crack cocaine.
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