Pressure mounts on Rob Ford to step aside

TORONTO – As pressure continues to mount on Toronto’s mayor to step aside or resign there’s more potential fuel that could be added to the scandal swirling around Rob Ford.

A lawyer for a man seen in a photo of Ford posing with three men, including two alleged gang members, is going to court today seeking copies of two videos seized by police.

Chief Bill Blair has said police recovered two videos of the mayor, including one with images that corresponded with those that media outlets reported appear to show Ford smoking crack cocaine.

Mohammad Khattak’s lawyer, Daniel Brown, argues the video files are “relevant disclosure” that may help his client defend himself on the charges he faces in connection with the Project Traveller raids of suspected gun and drug traffickers.

Ford apologized earlier this week after admitting smoking crack while in a “drunken stupor” and was apologizing again Thursday after a video emerged showing him launching a profanity laced tirade threatening to kill someone.

Next week, an Ontario judge is expected to decide whether remaining portions of a document that revealed Ford’s ties and covert meetings with an alleged drug dealer can be released.

Through all of the revelations Ford has said he’s not stepping down.

Coun. Denzil Minnan-Wong, a member of Ford’s executive committee, said he planned to ask council next week to petition the province to oust the mayor if he doesn’t take a leave of absence.

However, Ontario Municipal Affairs Minister Linda Jeffrey has said the province has no plans to step in, and will await the council resolution.

“Things are changing quite rapidly,” Jeffrey said. “Obviously, we will evaluate that motion when it comes forward, should it come forward.”

Jumping publicly to her son’s defence for the first time since the scandal erupted, Ford’s mother said her son had no need to go to rehab but said he had to “smarten up a little bit.”

What he does need to do, Diane Ford said in an interview with Toronto TV station CP 24, is see a counsellor, install an alcohol detector in his car and get his weight under control.

She blamed pressure from his political opponents and relentless hounding from the media for his problems but insisted he would not be going anywhere.

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