Rob Ford, Toronto’s embattled mayor, has entered a substance abuse rehabilitation program after he was turned away from the United States following his arrival in Chicago on Thursday night, according to media reports.
The incident occurred one day after Ford, who has for months been fighting off allegations of him smoking crack, announced that he was taking a leave of absence to treat his substance abuse.
It is unclear where Ford currently is, but CBC News reported that Ford’s lawyer, Dennis Morris, confirmed the mayor is indeed in treatment.
"The mayor is 100 percent in rehab. I can assure you of that," Morris told the CBC's Dave Seglins.
Morris refused to divulge where his client is, or confirm whether Ford is in Canada or the United States.
Asked whether the public should believe Ford is actually in rehab, Morris told CBC that Ford's previous denials and lies about drug use and a video of him smoking crack are "hallmarks of someone with troubles."
The details of Ford’s brief arrival and departure in Chicago are sparse, according to Global News.
"US Customs and Border Protection confirmed to us that Mayor Ford arrived in Chicago last Thursday and that after discussion with US CBP he withdrew his request to enter the USA and departed," said Canadian Consul General Roy Norton in an email statement.
All of this comes a week after a report that Ford was once again caught smoking crack.
Soon after, The Globe and Mail printed a statement prepared by Ford.
"I have a problem with alcohol, and the choices I have made while under the influence. I have struggled with this for some time," Mr. Ford said in a prepared statement late on Wednesday. "I have tried to deal with these issues by myself over the past year. I know that I need professional help and I am now 100 percent committed to getting myself right."
The next day, Ford was reportedly on a plane headed to Chicago, presumably to seek treatment.
Ford launched his mayoral re-election campaign last month in Toronto.Follow Bruce Wright on Twitter @bctw or contact him at email@example.com.