Toronto Mayor Rob Ford flew to Chicago last Thursday, landed, but then turned around before officially entering the United States, the Consulate General of Canada in Chicago confirmed.
Ford "arrived in Chicago last Thursday and that after discussion with [US Customs and Border Protection] he withdrew his request to enter the USA and departed," Consul General Roy B. Norton said in an email obtained by NBC Chicago.
Norton said his office was not involved and said U.S. authorities only shared a few details after the mayor, who announced a leave of absence from office and his re-election campaign to seek treatment for substance abuse, had already departed for another destination.
Ford's exact whereabouts on Tuesday remained unclear, but the Toronto Star spoke to Ford's brother who said the embattled mayor was "doing great" in a rehab program.
"He’s doing great. Everybody’s concerned that he's in rehab. He’s in rehab, he’s doing good, that’s all that matters," the Star quoted Doug Ford as saying.
Doug Ford is a member of Toronto's city government.
New images surfaced this week of Ford allegedly smoking crack cocaine in his sister Kathy's basement last weekend. On Wednesday, the Globe and Mail newspaper said it had viewed video footage of Ford taking a hit from a pipe that was secretly filmed by a so-called drug dealer on April 26. The paper purchased photo stills for $10,000.
Media coverage of those new revelations prompted Rob Ford to seek rehabilitation.
"I have a problem with alcohol, and the choices I have made while under the influence. I have struggled with this for some time," he said in a statement. "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. I love the people of Toronto, I love being your mayor and I hope you will continue to stand by me."
Ford's attorney, Dennis Morris, said the mayor would be in a treatment program lasting at least 30 days.