Toronto Mayor Admits Smoking Crack, No Plans to Step Down

"I love being your mayor"

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Updated at 4:47 p.m. ET. 

Embattled Mayor Rob Ford told a room of reporters “I have nothing left to hide” and reiterated he will not step down after admitting to smoking crack cocaine Tuesday.

“I love being your mayor,” he said in an apology to Toronto residents. “I was elected to do my job and that’s exactly what I’m going to continue doing.”

Ford also said he kept the truth from his brother and family members, his staff and council colleagues because he was “embarrassed and ashamed.” The Canadian mayor added that Toronto must continue moving forward, and said he plans to run for reelection next year.

“I want the people of this great city to decide whether they want Rob Ford to be their mayor.”

Earlier in the day Ford admitted to the drug allegation after months of denials,.

“Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine,” Ford said at a surprise news conference outside his office.

The admission came after local police said they had obtained an oft-rumored video that purportedly showed Ford smoking crack cocaine, the Toronto Star reports. Ford has steadfastly denied using crack and said he won’t stepped down. But Ford admitted earlier Tuesday he used the drug “probably a year ago” while in a “drunken stupor,” the Associated Press reports.

When asked why he had previously denied the allegations, Ford said: “I wasn’t lying. You didn’t ask the correct questions.”

A reporter then asked Ford, “Do you smoke crack cocaine?”

Ford responded: “Exactly.”

[Toronto Star]