Toronto mayor Rob Ford claimed in an interview Monday evening that some of his recent controversies are rooted in political differences with police Chief Bill Blair over budget cuts.
Ford told ex-media mogul Conrad Black in an interview on Vision T-V that Blair was “quite upset” with the budget cuts he required of all city departments.
Ford added that he thinks his friend Sandro Lisi is being used “as a prop” to get at him.
Blair has previously denied such allegations by stating that his job is to investigate “without fear or favour.”
Lisi was charged in October with trafficking in marijuana, possession of proceeds of crime, possession of marijuana and conspiracy to commit an indictable offence.
Ford also added a new chapter to a long-running feud with the Toronto Star by claiming reporter Daniel Dale was taking pictures of his children at his west-end Toronto home in May 2012.
He has alleged Dale was spying on him, while Dale contended he was on public property doing research for a story.
In Ford's words -- “when a guy's taking pictures of little kids, I don't want to say that word, you start thinking what's this guy all about.”
Toronto Star editor Michael Cooke told The Canadian Press via email that this is just the latest outrageous statement made by Ford.
Ford also told Black he's willing to submit to a urine test to prove he has no drugs or alcohol in his system and that he is avoiding alcohol because of past embarrassments.
Ford has been under scrutiny since May, when two media outlets reported that a video showed the mayor smoking what appeared to be crack cocaine.
After a string of denials, Ford stunned observers last month by admitting he had smoked crack in one of his “drunken stupors.”
The mayor is also facing allegations he offered purported gang members money and a car in exchange for a video - unproven claims contained in police documents that are part of a guns and gangs investigation.
(The Canadian Press)