Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is undergoing treatment at a rehab facility, the clinic in a small Ontario town has confirmed.
GreenStone Clinic Muskoka in Bala, Ontario, said in a news release on Friday that Ford consented to having the facility confirm his stay.
Ford announced late last month that he was seeking treatment for an alcohol problem after a new video surfaced that appeared to show Ford smoking a crack pipe late last month.
It was only the latest twist in the ongoing saga of Ford, whose notorious and frequently filmed behavior led the city council to strip him of most of his powers after he admitted last year that he had smoked crack in a “drunken stupor” and was depicted on video threatening to “murder” someone.
There was speculation about whether the embattled mayor of Canada’s largest city was in rehab after he was spotted taking photos with residents of a small town neighboring Bala last week.
A few days later, the mayor’s car was impounded after a Muskoka resident was arrested behind the wheel and charged with impaired driving.
“We ask that the public and the media respect the privacy of all the patients at GreenStone, to ensure they receive the most comprehensive and effective treatment,” the statement said.
“We take our patient care and confidentiality very seriously and as a result will not be commenting further on this matter,” it added.
Last week marked a year since the Toronto Star and the US Web site Gawker first reported seeing a video that appeared to show the mayor smoking crack cocaine.
Months later, Ford admitted to trying the drug while drunk and to using drugs while in office.
The mayor has previously publicly sworn off alcohol, saying he had cleaned up his act and was working out.
However, he was forced to admit to drinking after another videotaped incident in which he used obscene Jamaican slang words and criticized Toronto’s chief of police.
The Globe and Mail said last month a drug dealer had shown two of its reporters video of Ford allegedly smoking what was said to be crack in the basement of his sister’s home.
The paper said it paid US$10,000 for frame grabs showing Ford holding a copper pipe.
The Toronto Star also published details of “two nights of utter debauchery” involving Ford at a Toronto nightclub.
Police began investigating Ford after a guns and gangs probe turned up wiretaps that allegedly captured conversations about the first “crack” video.
A friend of Ford’s has been charged with extortion related to attempts to retrieve the video.
Despite Ford’s ongoing erratic behavior, he says he is running for re-election in October.
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