Toronto Mayor Rob Ford says he didn't know that three men he posed with in a photo last weekend had ties to the Hells Angels.
Ford caused a stir at the Rogers Centre on Sunday when he showed up to cheer on the Buffalo Bills. The controversial mayor posed for pictures with many spectators.
A photo of the mayor with two men who are alleged members of Hells Angels Westridge Alberta and a "prospect" from the Toronto chapter was posted in a photo gallery on the Hells Angels Toronto website.
The notorious biker gang has been tied to numerous criminal activities.
The image was also posted to Twitter on Tuesday by CTV Toronto City Hall reporter Natalie Johnson.
Ford was asked about the image on Tuesday, The Globe and Mail reports.
"I don’t check for people's credentials and ask for resumes before I take a picture. I take pictures with every single person that wants to take a picture with me," he told reporters.
This may remind some of a similar incident in 2002 when then-mayor Mel Lastman sparked outrage by shaking hands with a Hells Angels member.
Ford, a councillor at the time, said Lastman's move would hurt him in the long run.
"I'm sure he does it purposely. What else could it be? You can't be that dumb," he told The Toronto Sun.
But this also isn't the first time Ford's proclivity for "saying cheese" has landed him in hot water.
In 2012, a photo of Ford with neo-Nazi Jon Latvis, taken at a New Year's levee at City Hall, went viral. Ford also met with Latvis weeks later to discuss transit issues.
Ford's office responded by saying the mayor posed with hundreds of different people that day. In a statement, the mayor's staff said he was unaware of allegations Latvis had ever made racist, hateful and offensive remarks.
"Mayor Ford is a strong supporter of Toronto's Jewish community and strongly deplores anti-Semitism in any form," it read.
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