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Deputy mayor urges Ford to 'take a pause'

Mayor Rob Ford tells media to get off his property as he leaves his home in Toronto on Oct. 31, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette.

Two of Mayor Ford’s closest political allies are urging him to temporarily step away from his duties at city hall — a day after Ford stunned friends and foes alike by admitting he’s smoked crack cocaine.

Deputy mayor Norm Kelly told CityNews he’s spoken to Ford about the situation and offered him what he considers sound advice to take a well-needed break.

“The best option I gave him was to take a pause…I do this out of affection for him, respect for the office and I hope he returns full of piss and vinegar and ready to lead his administration…”

“Now that we know what the issues were he has a chance to repair himself and everyone knows that now,” Kelly said.

Coun. Frances Nunziata, who serves as council speaker and is a longtime Ford supporter, said she has also tried to persuade the mayor to take a leave.

“I’m very disappointed that the mayor has not taken our advice, members of council, to take a leave,” she said Wednesday. “I think it’s important that he take a leave of absence for a while, for a few weeks, to sort out his personal issues…”

“It was a big step for him to come forward yesterday and to apologize and confess but I think there’s more and he needs to do more and he needs to show respect to all of us and (take a leave).”

Other councillors said they’re concerned more damning information about the mayor will emerge.

After the bombshell revelation Tuesday, Ford said he had nothing left to hide, but some councillors aren’t convinced.

Karen Stintz, who has said she will run for mayor next year, says more information could be revealed, but she hopes for the city’s sake that this is the end of it.

Denzil Minnan-Wong says he’s “troubled” by the possibility that there is more to come on the mayor, though he says he doesn’t know what it could be.

A judge is expected to make a decision early next week on whether remaining portions of a document that revealed Ford’s ties and covert meetings with an alleged drug dealer can be released.

Police chief Bill Blair has said that police have seized two videos of the mayor, including one consistent with media reports about him appearing to smoke crack cocaine, but he hasn’t said what’s on the second video.

Meanwhile, right-leaning Coun. Giorgio Mammoliti released a statement saying he’s worried about a “left-wing coup” following the mayor’s drug confession.

Ford must step down and get help: PR expert

Some councillors and even public relations experts are urging Ford to step aside and get help after admitting he used crack cocaine.

“There’s nothing we like more than a great redemption story,” Tony Chapman, CEO and partner in Capital C Partners, told CityNews on Wednesday.

“If he has any hope of saving his brother’s political career or even, god help us, thinking he has a political future, he has to step down and he has to get serious help.”

Only then, Chapman said, could Ford return to politics.

Ford admits to crack cocaine use

On Tuesday, Ford made a bombshell announcement at city hall, telling reporters, “Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine.”

In a hastily arranged news conference hours later, he said he was “sincerely, sincerely sorry.” He vowed to remain in office and to run again in 2014.

The abruptness of the confession, and the later apology, stunned Chapman.

“He has no game,” Chapman said Wednesday.

“It’s not like he’s thinking one step or three steps ahead. Everyday, he’s falling down another manhole.”

Chapman said Ford, instead of publicly confessing everything he’s done, is just feeding out information a little bit at a time.

2nd person calls for release of so-called crack video

A lawyer for a man photographed with Ford outside a house reportedly associated with the so-called crack video says he’s going to court on Friday seeking copies of two video files related to Ford.

Ford and his brother Coun. Doug Ford have called on police to release the tapes.

Toronto police said the videos were on a hard drive that was seized in June during a gangs and guns investigation called Project Traveller that led to charges against Mohammad Khattak.

Lawyer Daniel Brown argues the video files are “relevant disclosure” which may assist Khattak in defending himself on the charges he faces.

Judge to decide whether to release more info

A Superior Court judge will review on Friday whether to release the hundred-odd pages of a redacted document which showed Ford and his friend Alexander Lisi were under police surveillance.

Last Thursday, Justice Ian Nordheimer released the redacted version of the police document, which was used to get a search warrant that led to the arrest of accused drug dealer Lisi.

On the same day it was released, police said they recovered videos during Project Traveller, including one of Ford allegedly smoking crack cocaine and charged Lisi with extortion for his attempts to retrieve the alleged video.

Ford, on the advice of his lawyer Dennis Morris, has refused an invitation to speak with Det. Sgt. Gary Grioux, the lead officer in the investigation.

Councillors call on Ford to step aside

Two members of the mayor’s executive committee are urging Ford to take a leave of absence to address his personal issues after he admitted to smoking crack cocaine.

Councillors Denzil Minnan-Wong and Peter Milczyn drafted the motion moments after Ford made the crack cocaine admission. It will be addressed at the next city council meeting on Nov. 13.