Key events in Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's long year

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Associated Press

Posted on November 16, 2013 at 6:34 AM

TORONTO (AP) — Toronto Mayor Rob Ford remains in office, resisting all attempts to force him out over his admitted crack use, drinking problem and appearance in a video that caught him threatening to "kill" someone. His powers were curtailed by the City Council on Friday. Here are some key events from his long year in the news:

May 16-17: The Toronto Star and U.S.-based news site Gawker report that Ford was seen on video smoking what appears to be crack cocaine and making racist and anti-gay comments. Ford calls the allegations "ridiculous" and the work of a smear job by the Star. His lawyer Dennis Morris calls them "false and defamatory."

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May 19-20: Late-night TV comedians in the U.S. begin skewering the mayor. "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart says: "Don't judge him: Maybe he's cleaning up the city by smoking all the crack in it."

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May 26: Ford attacks the media, calling them "a bunch of maggots."

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June 13-15: Toronto police raid several homes, including an apartment building where reports had said the purported crack-smoking video was located. The Star and The Globe and Mail report that two of the suspects arrested in the raid also appear with Ford in a widely publicized photograph connected to the video.

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Aug. 9: Ford is accused of being drunk in public after videos appear on YouTube showing him slurring his speech at a street fair. Ford says he had "a couple of beers" but was not intoxicated. Ford later acknowledges on his radio show that he was "hammered."

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Oct. 1-2: Ford's friend and occasional driver, Alexander Lisi, is arrested and charged with trafficking marijuana. Ford defends Lisi, calling him a "good guy."

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Oct. 31: Police Chief Bill Blair announces police recovered a copy of a video file that depicts Ford smoking crack. Blair says police have no grounds to criminally charge the mayor based on the video alone. But he says the massive surveillance operation led to charges against Lisi, including extortion for his attempts to "retrieve a recording."

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Nov. 3: Ford apologizes on his weekly radio show for making mistakes, including texting while driving.

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Nov. 5: Ford, after months of denials, admits in a stunning confession to reports that he smoked crack cocaine about a year earlier while in one of his "drunken stupors." He vows to remain in office and insists: "No, I'm not an addict."

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Nov. 6: Late-night TV host Jimmy Kimmel airs a video entitled "How to Tell If Your Mayor is Smoking Crack" that highlights Ford's behavior as mayor, including walking into a TV camera, tumbling down hard while playing with a football and shouting down reporters outside his door.

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Nov. 7: A video is posted online by the Toronto Star and Toronto Sun that shows Ford spewing obscenities and threatening to "kill" someone. The mayor tells reporters moments after the blurry video is posted that he was "extremely" drunk at the time and is "extremely" embarrassed.

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Nov. 13: Ford admits during a heated City Council debate that he bought illegal drugs while in office, but refuses to step down despite calls from nearly every councilor to take a leave of absence and get help. Ford becomes the subject of TV host David Letterman's nightly Top 10 list after pausing for eight seconds when asked if he ever bought illegal drugs. Answer No. 5: "I don't remember, you should be talking to me crack dealer."

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Nov. 14: Ford draws gasps from reporters with an obscenity-laced denial of allegations that he told a female staffer he wanted to have oral sex. Ford says he is "happily married" and uses crude language to say he enjoys enough oral sex at home. He later apologizes for the remarks, which he made outside city hall while wearing a Toronto Argonauts football jersey, drawing censure from the team. He also threatens to take legal action against aides and a waiter over interviews with police that were detailed in court documents.

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Nov. 15: City councilors, who have stepped up their efforts to force the mayor out of office despite lacking a legal path to do so, vote overwhelmingly to strip Ford of some of his powers. Ford vows to fight the decision in court. The council plans to try to strip the mayor of most of his remaining powers.

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