Embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford apologized but refused to step down Tuesday despite admitting to smoking crack while in a "drunken stupor."
At a press conference that followed months of accusations over Ford’s drug use, the mayor vowed to stay in office, stating that he “was elected to do a job and that is exactly what I’m going to continue to do.”
In an apparent reference to his smoking of crack cocaine, Ford added, “I want to be crystal clear to every single person. These mistakes will never, ever, ever happen again.”
Along with committing to serve out his current term, Ford also suggested that he would run again for office next year.
Allegations that he was caught on video smoking crack first surfaced in May.
"Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine," Ford told reporters Tuesday outside his office. "There have been times when I've been in a drunken stupor. That's why I want to see the tape. I want everyone in the city to see this tape."
During an interview with the John Oakley radio talk show Monday, Ford dodged a direct question about whether he has ever used crack cocaine, a day after he apologized for "a lot of stupid things" and acknowledged the need to curb his drinking.
When he was asked if he would be able to recognize the signs of addiction, Ford, 44, continued to insist that he doesn't have an addiction.
"If I am an addict, I could not show up to work every single day. And, you know, I cannot miss work," he said.
The populist, conservative mayor was interviewed on the radio show about the media storm that broke after police revealed last week that they had obtained a copy of the video, which reportedly shows the mayor puffing on a crack cocaine pipe.
The video was recovered from a computer hard drive during an investigation of Alexander Lisi, an associate of Ford's who is suspected of providing the mayor with drugs. Police have said they don't have grounds to charge Ford with any crime.
Ford hasn't addressed the contents of the video, saying he cannot comment on a tape he hasn't seen. He pleaded with police to release the video to the public. However, police have said they cannot release the video because it is evidence in the Lisi case.
Police officials said the video will come out when Lisi goes to trial on drug and extortion charges. Lisi is accused of threatening two alleged gang members who had been trying to sell the video to the media.
Police have said they want to talk to Ford, but his lawyer so far has declined.
Ford on Sunday acknowledged making "mistakes," saying he was referring to being inebriated in public and texting while driving. He did not say much about the contents of the video.
He said that although he's not going to stop drinking altogether, he'll slow down on "the eating and drinking and everything."
Despite calls for his resignation by council members and the public, he declined to take a leave of absence or resign.
Councilor Sarah Doucette said Monday that she doesn't think many councilors feel his apology is enough.
"I still feel he should step aside, look after himself, look after his family and do what's best for him, because what is best for him is what is best for the city."
"I don't think it (the apology) was adequate," said Councilor Gloria Lindsay Luby. "It didn't address what most people were very concerned about, which were the drug allegations."
All four major Toronto newspapers have called for Ford to resign. Municipal law makes no provision for his removal from office unless he's convicted and jailed for a criminal offense.
Ford, whose term ends in October 2014, vowed Sunday to run for re-election. The crack-smoking allegations do not seem to have hurt him with his base in the Toronto suburbs.
He was elected three years ago, largely on the strength of his support in the suburbs, whereas the previous mayor, David Miller, was viewed as too focused on downtown needs and reckless with tax dollars.
Ford's approval rating even edged up slightly after police announced they recovered the video file.
Al Jazeera and wire services