Toronto Mayor Rob Ford says he won’t resign and pledged to run in the city’s next election after two more staff members left amid allegations the mayor was caught on video smoking crack cocaine.
“I’m not stepping aside, I’m running in the next election,” Ford told reporters outside his office in Canada’s biggest city. “Things are doing great.”
Ford refused to answer questions today about his alleged drug use. On May 24 he said, “I do not use crack cocaine nor am I an addict of crack cocaine.”
Brian Johnston and Kia Nejatian, two of Ford’s aides, resigned from the mayor’s staff today, the Toronto Star newspaper reported. That brings the number of resignations since the scandal broke to five.
The Star said on May 16 two of its reporters watched a cellphone video allegedly showing Ford smoking from a crack cocaine pipe. U.S. website Gawker was the first to report on the video and has raised $200,000 to buy it.
Bloomberg News hasn’t seen the video and can’t verify its authenticity.
Ford denied there were any problems in his office, instead touting his efforts to balance Toronto’s budget.
“I guarantee my name will be on the ballot” in the next mayoral election, he said.