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Mayor Ford’s after-hours behaviour called into question by budget chair

Mayor Rob Ford and councillor Frank Di Giorgio speak during council meeting in Toronto, Ontario, December 16, 2013

Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail

Toronto budget chair Frank Di Giorgio – one of Rob Ford's few remaining allies on city council – is rethinking that support after a chaotic night at the Air Canada Centre Saturday that ended with the mayor "bolting" across a busy street and reneging on their plans.

Mr. Ford said Monday he was not drinking or drunk over the weekend when he created a commotion at a Toronto Maple Leafs game, but refused to say what he was doing at City Hall until the wee hours of Sunday morning after arriving with two unidentified guests.

According to Mr. Di Giorgio, the mayor became "visibly upset" when he was denied access to the exclusive directors' lounge at the Air Canada Centre. Mr. Ford was seen jumping into a cab with unidentified men after the game. The mayor also attended the Blue Jays home opener Friday night.

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Mr. Ford told reporters Monday he wanted to "clarify a few rumours" going around. "I wasn't drunk at either game. I wasn't drinking at either game," he said.

Mr. Di Giorgio attended the Leafs game with the mayor and said after what he witnessed he is "very leery" about Mr. Ford's efforts to change his behaviour. Mr. Di Giorgio said he will be assessing the other centre-right candidates in the race for mayor.

Mr. Di Giorgio said the mayor spent most of his evening hopping among private boxes and posing for pictures. After the game, he "bolted" across a busy street with no warning and got into a cab, Mr. Di Giorgio said. He planned to go with Mr. Ford to an event in his ward, but when he reached him by phone, the mayor didn't say where he was.

Instead, Mr. Ford arrived at City Hall about 10 p.m. with "two guests," who left before he did at 1:30 a.m., a city spokeswoman said. The mayor was later spotted at the Muzik nightclub at Exhibition Place.

"There's nothing more to this story, guys. You are trying to find something that's not there. There's absolutely nothing there," Mr. Ford said.

The mayor would not answer questions about the late-night visit to his City Hall office, site of an after-hours St. Patrick's Day party in 2012 that ended with the mayor in the lobby, liquor bottle in his hand.

"I can do whatever I want. This is my office," he said Monday.

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Asked by reporters if he was under the influence of drugs on Saturday night, Mr. Ford said, "No I wasn't. Not at all."

Mr. Ford ended the news conference when asked if he still uses drugs. "You know what, you guys are going to ask stupid questions. I'm gonna … That is a stupid question," he said.

Mr. Di Giorgio said Mr. Ford's actions after the game are what upset him most. "That's the part that is disillusioning for me. The bad judgment call that he made," he said.

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Toronto City Hall bureau chief



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