Atlantic Cities

Rob Ford: Still Behaving Badly

Rob Ford is being forced to defend himself once more after someone leaked video footage of him walking around the city Friday night looking, well, quite tipsy.

A local college student, said he saw Ford standing next to his Cadillac Escalade near the annual "Taste of the Danforth" festival Friday night, telling local alt weekly, Now, "When I approached, he wasn’t making much sense, the mayor looked like he was totally out of it," adding, "he was slurring. It was noticeable. When he would stop to take pictures, he would sway back and forth, he couldn’t really stand straight."

Unlike other Rob Ford incidences, this one comes with readily available pictures and videos.

In this video, Rob Ford can be heard saying, "I'm not driving!" three times straight. 

In this video, the mayor is heard saying "we're gonna go to the party, man."

Though harmless in comparison to allegations of crack cocaine usage, local officials are annoyed that Ford's unprofessional behavior continues. One city councillor told the Toronto Star, "if he has a drinking problem, deal with it. If it’s not a drinking problem, then the problem is how you present yourself at events. And you’ve got to work on that." Another told CBC Radio this morning, "I think a lot of us were hoping he had resolved his issues but it’s just a recurring theme."

Deputy mayor Doug Holyday, however, defended Ford, saying the videos were inconclusive. "Everything he [Rob Ford] does is scrutinized in a way that no other politician has ever had before, that I know of," he told the Toronto Star. "And I just hope it doesn’t take a toll on him."

On his local radio show this weekend, Ford admitted to letting his "hair down a little bit." "Did I have a couple of beers? Absolutely I had a couple of beers," he said. "But you know what, I had a good time." The mayor added that he received a ride home that night.

While the city spent the weekend either amused or embarrassed by their mayor's most recent antics, a potentially more serious story was discovered. Earlier today, the Globe and Mail reported that Ford paid an after-hours visit to a local correctional facility. Ford visited a Toronto-area jail unannounced about three hours after official visiting hours on March 25. Upon arriving, he asked for a tour of the facility. When his request was denied, he asked to visit Bruno Bellissimo, a man with a history of police run-ins involving drug-related activity. That request was also denied.

The mayor has no comment on the matter so far. Deputy mayor Holyday says the mayor was likely trying to lend a helping hand. Bellissimo's mother tells the Globe and Mail that her son and Ford are childhood friends. It is not known if Bellissimo has a connection to another childhood friend of Ford's, Fabio Basso, who resides in the house where the mayor was infamously photographed in front of with two men who were later shot, an image supplied by the owners of the video where he is allegedly seen smoking crack cocaine. Both Basso and Bellissimo attended school with Ford in the 1980s.


Keywords: Toronto, Rob Ford

Mark Byrnes is an associate editor at The Atlantic Cities. All posts »

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