Miami-Dade County

Embattled Toronto mayor had previous Miami DUI arrest

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, butt of late-night talk show jokes for smoking crack cocaine while on a drinking binge, revealed to colleagues Wednesday that he and his family may travel to Florida for the holidays.

That might bring back some bad memories.

Miami-Dade was the scene of a drunk driving and marijuana possession arrest back in 1999, an embarrassment that surfaced during Ford’s mayoral campaign three years ago and has come up again with his most recent booze and drugs scandal. The embattled mayor admitted last week that he had used crack cocaine,

Ford’s previous arrest in South Florida, widely reported in Canada in 2010, came in downtown Miami around 1:30 a.m. when a Miami-Dade police office pulled over his car because the headlights were off.

When he got out, Ford threw his hands up, told the officer to “take me to jail” and threw cash on the ground, according to a police report posted online by CBC news.

The officer smelled alcohol on his breath and found a joint in his pants pocket. Ford wound up completing 50 hours of community service for the arrest, the mayor told Canadian reporters in 2010.

News of the arrest apparently didn’t bother Toronto voters, who elected him anyway. Now, polls show, most want him to resign.

On Wednesday, in a closely watched Toronto City Council meeting, Ford had testy exchanges with members of the city council, which voted 37 to 5 to ask him to take a leave of absence. But the council doesn’t have authority to force him from the post and Ford refused to step down, though he did apologize profusely for his behavior.