We have a habit of electing some pretty shady politicians in Miami. Hell, we're currently recalling our own county mayor, but it's nice to be reminded other cities can elect some real loons too. Toronto, Canada's biggest city and North America's fifth biggest city, just elected Rob Ford, a colorful, controversial candidate with a lot of skeletons in his closet. Like a 1999 arrest right here in Miami for driving under the influence and possession of marijuana.
The incident happened around Valentine's Day in 1999. Ford was visiting our city with his wife, and was pulled over at night for driving with his headlights out. According to police reports, when he was pulled over he got out of his car and threw all of the money in his wallet on the ground.
"The def[endant] was acting nervous. When [he] spoke to me I could smell a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath. His eyes were bloodshot," wrote Miami-Dade police officer Timothy Marks in a police report.
"Go ahead. Take me to jail," Ford yelled at the officer.
The officer also found a marijuana cigarette in the now-mayor's back pocket.
When the Toronto press dug up the charges, Ford first said that he didn't even remember the marijuana charges because they were dismissed. He said he wasn't drunk, but was arrested because he refused a breathalyzer.
At first he told the media he had only a glass or two of wine, but then conceded he had actually shared "a couple bottles" of wine with his wife. "Maybe I shouldn't have been driving," he concluded at a press conference.
Interestingly, Ford does not support alternate forms of transportation, including bikes and public transit.
"I can't support bike lanes. Roads are built for buses, cars, and trucks. My heart bleeds when someone gets killed, but it's their own fault at the end of the day," he's said.
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Unless of course the driver who killed a bicyclist just shared a couple bottles of wine with his wife.
Ford has also made a number of comments that come off as racist and homophobic during his years in public service.
Ultimately, though, he was carried to victory on an anti-tax platform.
In any event, it sounds like Chris Bosh got out of Toronto just in time.