Mayor Rob Ford stripped of many executive powers in Toronto city council vote

Mayor Rob Ford (C) leaves his office at Toronto City Hall on November 8, 2013 in Toronto, Ontario.

Toronto's Mayor Rob Ford was stripped on Friday of many of his executive powers in a special City Hall meeting.

City councilors voted 39-3 in favor of taking away the mayor's ability to hire and fire the deputy mayor and appoint members of standing and executive committees. 

Only Ford, Councilor Doug Ford (his brother) and Councilor David Shiner voted against the motion.

Standing and executive committee appointments will now be in the hands of Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly.

Ford also lost his powers to deal with emergencies, and hire and fire accountability officers, by a vote of 41-2.

"I wish there was some other route than had been followed," said Councilor John Filion. "Council has given the mayor advice and requests and he has chosen not to follow them."

Councilor Janet Davis said, "As you know, the mayor will still remain the mayor in name and he will still continue to have a seat, and I think that there may be new revelations that unfold in the coming months."

More from GlobalPost: Toronto Mayor Rob Ford admits to buying illegal drugs (VIDEO)

A third motion seeking to delegate numerous powers to Kelly will be discussed on Monday. If passed, Ford's staff and office budget would be reduced to that of a regular city councilor.

Ford has said he intends to contest the motions in court and indicated at the start of Friday's debates that he had already hired well-known municipal lawyer George Rust-D'Eye, presenting councilors with a legal warning.

"Although the council generally has the power to amend or suspend its own by-law in accordance with the procedures by-law and other applicable law, it cannot reduce or interfere with the statutory responsibilities of the mayor, nor can it purport to do indirectly what it does not have the power to do directly," the letter said.

"There is no evidence before the council suggesting that the mayor has failed to exercise, or abused, his powers, or been unwilling or unable to fulfill them."

The majority of Toronto city councilors had already formally urged Ford to take a leave of absence because of the drug scandal (among other issues) swirling around him, and some are now calling for his outright resignation.

The mayor has made international headlines for the past two weeks by admitting to some accusations and apologizing for them, and responding to other revelations with outrageous outbursts.

Ford has been under fire since Toronto police announced they had in their possession a video of the mayor allegedly smoking crack, which he later admitted to doing only once while in a drunken stupor.

Court documents from the investigation have since revealed allegations of other drug use, drunk driving and the hiring of prostitutes, none of which has been proven in court.