Toronto Mayor Rob Ford flew to Chicago on Thursday afternoon shortly after announcing he would take leave from his mayoral duties and re-election campaigning to seek help for what he described as a problem with alcohol.
Global News confirmed Ford departed Buttonville Airport in Toronto on a Chicago-bound private plane, though details on the nature of his trip were not confirmed.
(Follow the live blog on Rob Ford's rehab below)
“It’s not easy to be vulnerable and this is one of the most difficult times in my life,” Ford said in a statement released Wednesday night after a second alleged video of him smoking crack and a lewd audio recording surfaced.
Ford's family has voiced support for his decision to seek treatment, though no one from the Ford family has confirmed the location of the mayor's treatment facility. Ford's brother, Toronto Councillor Doug Ford, was quoted saying only that the mayor was attending "one of the best facilities in North America" and that he would spend at least 30 days in treatment.
The Ford family has longtime ties to Chicago ever since Ford's father founded a printing business in nearby suburban Wooddale in 1962, ABC Chicago reports.
Ford was the CFO of the successful Deco Labels & Tags until he was elected mayor of Toronto in 2010. He made a heavily-publicized trip to Chicago to promote business ties with Toronto in 2012, but the mission was overshadowed by a series of typically Fordian gaffes.
Ford, who is seeking re-election this fall, refused to resign after video filmed last February surfaced showing the mayor smoking crack in what he described as "a drunken stupor."
This is a developing story