TORONTO (AP) — Toronto Mayor Rob Ford once made players on a high school football team roll in geese droppings, according to newly released documents.
The scandal-plagued mayor was fired by a Toronto Catholic school last year as a volunteer coach after he made disparaging remarks to a TV network about parents and their children.
The documents from Toronto’s Catholic School Board come as Ford seeks re-election Oct. 27. His brother and campaign manager, Doug Ford, called the documents “fictitious rumors and allegations.”
The documents also say he showed up intoxicated for a Don Bosco team practice just before a city championship two years ago. John Royiwsky, a teacher-coach, reports in the documents that after the game in October of 2012 Ford “made the players roll in goose scat” while berating them.
Ford returned to work June 30 after a two-month rehab stint for drug and alcohol abuse. After months of denials, he acknowledged using crack in a “drunken stupor.”
The documents were released Thursday after a freedom of information request from Canadian media.
Asked why Ford wasn’t fired earlier, Toronto Catholic District School Board spokesman John Yan said the incidents came to light only after the board began a review of Ford following his television interview comments. Ford characterized the parent community in the interview as not caring about their kids, said that the students were involved in gangs and guns and that if it weren’t for him they would be in jail.
“The investigation revealed that what were first thought to be isolated incidents connected to form a pattern,” Yan said. “As with any organization, an individual is entitled to due process and this always takes time.”
The board said last year he was fired because of the interview comments but Yan said Thursday all the incidents were considered.
Ford avoided reporters Thursday as he made his way to the council chamber for the final council meeting before the election. His duties as mayor have been curtailed since last year, when Toronto’s City Council stripped him of most of his powers.
After some city councilors not seeking re-election gave farewell speeches on Thursday, Ford got up and thanked others for their work during his term.
“This is not a farewell speech so sorry about that,” Ford joked.
He later chocked up when thanking the deputy mayor for taking over when he was away in rehab.
“I know I put this council through some challenges. I know I embarrassed council. I want to thank the deputy mayor for taking the reins,” Ford said. “The past is the past and we have to move forward so thank you.”
City Councilor Jaye Robinson later told reporters that Ford doesn’t deserve another term.
“He was fired as a football coach at a high school, how can he run a city?” Robinson said.
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