TORONTO, (Reuters) – Toronto’s deputy mayor started running the city yesterday, a day after Mayor Rob Ford said he would take a leave of absence from his job and his re-election campaign to seek treatment for an alcohol problem.
Ford’s move came after months of denials that he has a substance abuse problem and nearly a year after media reports surfaced he had been caught in a video smoking crack cocaine.
His departure followed a Globe and Mail report on Wednesday that it had seen a video shot last week that showed Ford using what appeared to be drugs.
On Thursday morning, TV cameras captured Ford, 44, leaving his house and getting into a car driven by another person.
Earlier, a large suitcase was seen being taken out of the house and being put into a separate car.
Ford did not talk to reporters, but late on Wednesday he released a statement admitting that he has a problem with alcohol and saying that he would seek help to deal with it immediately. The statement did not specify where he planned to go or how long he’d be away.