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Support me or quit: Rob Ford to executive committee

By Don Peat, City Hall Bureau Chief

Mayor Rob Ford at AM 640 Monday during an interview with morning show host John Oakley. (Supplied photo)

Mayor Rob Ford at AM 640 Monday during an interview with morning show host John Oakley. (Supplied photo)

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TORONTO - 

Embattled Mayor Rob Ford dared members of his executive committee to quit if they don’t support him amid the ongoing crack video scandal.

Ford went on the offensive Monday as the alleged crack video controversy and his close ties to an accused marijuana dealer continued to plague his administration and threaten to derail his political career.

Although he did an interview with AM640 host John Oakley, Ford refused to answer questions from reporters at City Hall — going so far as to sneak out the back door of his office at the end of the day to avoid media camped in front of his office.

A day after he promised to try to curb his drinking, Ford was at City Hall unusually early Monday, arriving before 8 a.m.

In the testy AM640 interview, Ford apologized for cases of public drunkenness while refusing to explain his appearance on a video which reportedly shows him smoking what appears to be crack cocaine.

He also refused to provide any detail about his many interactions — chronicled by Toronto Police surveillance — with alleged drug dealer Alexander “Sandro” Lisi.

Ford maintained he’ll be getting back to work and encouraged any members of his executive committee unhappy with him to quit.

“Anybody that wants to go, go,” Ford told Oakley. “I’ll be running the ship even if it is by myself. I’m going to be serving the city and guaranteed I’ll be watching every dime.”

Asked if he’s going to be a “lame duck” mayor now, Ford shrugged, adding “time will tell.”

Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong met privately with Ford Monday and expressed his concerns.

“We had a full, frank and open discussion,” Minnan-Wong said. “I have a concern about how this has impacted the city and how it has impacted council.”

Minnan-Wong admitted the “facts and circumstances” around Ford are “troubling.”

“I don’t think the mayor did enough (Sunday) to satisfy the public,” he said.

Councillor Michael Thompson — another member of Ford’s executive — expressed concern that “something is fundamentally wrong in our city.

“We are becoming the butt of many jokes and it is not actually helpful,” Thompson said.

TTC chair Karen Stintz — who is running for mayor next year — said Ford has made it clear he’s not going to resign or take a leave of absence.

“From my perspective the business of the city has to continue,” Stintz said.

don.peat@sunmedia.ca


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