Coun. Doug Ford said his brother Mayor Rob Ford is an honest man and recent allegations he was caught doing drugs on camera are “untrue.”
“Rob is telling me these stories are untrue, that these accusations are ridiculous and I believe him,” Doug Ford said at city hall on Wednesday.
He made the statement outside the mayor’s office. He also said he would not speak for the mayor, saying “I love him and he’ll speak for himself.”
Rob Ford was not present for the news conference and has not formally addressed allegations he was caught on video smoking crack cocaine.
Outside his Etobicoke home on Friday morning, Rob Ford spoke to a group of waiting reporters, saying “Absolutely not true…it’s ridiculous.”
He repeated the “ridiculous” claim later at city hall.
Both the mayor’s allies and rivals have urged him to comment on the scandal directly, but he has so far kept quiet.
The only person who can move our city past this is Mayor Ford by honestly addressing questions. The mayor must put Toronto before himself.
— Josh Matlow (@JoshMatlow) May 22, 2013
“I do wish that they would come back and make a statement about the allegations themselves,” Deputy mayor Doug Holyday told the media after Coun. Ford spoke. “I certainly wanted to hear something from Rob not Doug, hopefully we will.”
When asked why he thought the mayor hadn’t addressed the allegations himself Holyday speculated it may be connected to legal implications.
“I think there’s lawyers at play and other things happening… I don’t know what they are. Hopefully he’ll come out and address you. The sooner the better,” he said.
Doug Ford argued Wednesday the mayor has already addressed the allegations, adding “I don’t know how much more he can say.”
Doug went on to chastise reporters for “hiding in the bushes” at his family’s home and cottage, and to accuse U.S.-based website Gawker – which first published the allegations – of being “disgusting” and “morally wrong.”
He also accused the Toronto Star of having a “vendetta” against the mayor.
He did not say what, if any, legal action would be taken against either the website or the newspaper.
“If the mayor stopped and held a press conference every time the media made up a story about him, we would never have accomplished what we have,” Ford said.
“If the mayor wants to make a statement, his press secretary will notify the media. There is no reason for you to be staking out his house and following him around town.”
In a campaign-style speech, he went on to tout the mayor’s accomplishments, including privatizing garbage collection east of Yonge Street, negotiating labour deals with city unions, increased construction development and job growth.
He ended the news conference without taking any questions.
So do you think Harper and Hudak will be doing a summer BBQ with the Fordsagain this year? #moreunbelievablebytheday
— DwightDuncan (@DwightDuncan) May 22, 2013
Was Doug Ford’s statement enough to address the mayor’s scandal? Have your say in the comments.