NEWS
04/30/2014 08:53 EDT | Updated 06/30/2014 05:59 EDT

Rob Ford taking leave of absence, lawyer says

A lawyer for Toronto Mayor Rob Ford says Ford will take leave to seek help for substance abuse.

Dennis Morris says the mayor "realizes he needs help for substance abuse" but would not say what steps his client will take.

The news comes amid reports that one or more new recordings of Ford have surfaced and are about to be released. The Toronto Sun reported late Wednesday it has obtained a new and “raunchy” audio recording of Ford “ranting and swearing” in a Toronto-area bar. 

The paper said Ford is stepping away from his re-election campaign, but will keep his name on the ballot. 

Minutes after the report was released, reporter Robin Doolittle of The Toronto Star tweeted that a new Ford video had been viewed Wednesday afternoon at The Globe and Mail.

Ford has so far denied allegations that he is addicted to drugs or alcohol, though he admits having used crack cocaine during his tenure.

The mayor also admitted he had been drinking during an incident in which he was filmed using Jamaican swear words and other profanities at a Toronto restaurant.

He vowed last year that he had given up alcohol — part of a campaign to rehabilitate his image in light of his admission.

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