Toronto Mayor Rob Ford headline roundup (The birthday edition)

Press secretaries exit though the library, Star digs up more dirt

Rob Ford’s appetite for destruction

Brett Gundlock/Reuters

It was not a great day for embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Monday as both his press secretary and deputy press secretary quit, following former chief of staff Mark Towhey — who was fired Thursday — out the door.

And Tuesday, the mayor’s 44th birthday, doesn’t appear to be shaping up to be much better for Ford, at least according to the headlines published to kick off the day.

New details are clear on the previous day’s communications team walkout, with the Toronto Sun reporting that George Christopoulos and deputy press secretary Isaac Ransom handed in their resignation notices around 1:30 p.m. Monday, before slipping down a back staircase and out the door of the public library, which is attached to City Hall. The men “left on principle,” a source tells the Sun. “I know it was a s— show on Friday and they weren’t very happy about it,” the source continued. “I think that Fortress Ford is kind of circling the wagons now and only listening to family.” The Globe and Mail reports that Christopoulos and Ransom informed the mayor of their decision by phone before their exit.

But the more damning allegations Tuesday come from the Toronto Star, which advances a Globe and Mail story from Monday which quoted anonymous sources saying homicide detectives had questioned a member of Ford’s staff. Quoting more unnamed sources, Tuesday’s Toronto Star story says a conversation occurred between the mayor’s director of logistics David Price (the man The Globe and Mail alleges was involved in the drug trade with Coun. Doug Ford several decades ago), his former chief of staff Towhey and two other staff members. In that conversation, Price allegedly asked Towhey what they would do if a copy of the video that shows Ford smoking from a glass pipe “hypothetically” existed and if they knew where it was. Towhey said they should go to police, which is what he did without asking Ford first, reports the Star.

Also from the Toronto Star Tuesday, comes a report that one of three men pictured alongside Ford in a photograph, provided by the man who showed Star reporters the alleged video, was injured in the same shooting that claimed Anthony Smith’s life. Smith also appears to also be in the photo; he has his arm around Ford, and is holding a bottle and giving the middle finger to the camera with the other hand. The Star identifies the second man in the photo as Muhammad Khattak, 19, who was shot in the arm on March 28, the same night that Smith was gunned down outside a Toronto club.

The Star really is on a roll Tuesday with a third story reporting that the mayor’s new press secretary and/or communications direction Amin Massoudi (there was confusion over his title and whether Sunny Petrujkic would be acting as press secretary) was fired from Ford’s own 2010 election campaign after police allegedly found marijuana in his car. No charges were laid in that incident, the Star reports.

For a thoughtful read on Tuesday, Maisonneuve has an essay that examines how class plays into the Ford family affair. In it, Eric Andrew-Gee reminds us that the Ford family is rich from its successful label business, even as “Toronto’s left-wing social elite” consider the Fords to be low-class and as the Ford brothers “claim to speak for the working class.”

Despite the continued headlines, “it is business as usual,” Ford told reporters Monday. He will attempt to get on with that business by chairing an executive committee meeting at city hall, something he sent a tweet out about Tuesday morning as he also thanked well-wishers for their birthday messages.


Watch the executive committee meeting live here.

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Toronto Mayor Rob Ford headline roundup (The birthday edition)

  1. Guilty or innocent of this particular societal infraction, the mayor is subject to the same temptations as the rest of us. Here’s a song about that, which may cut close to his honor’s situation:


  2. So the worry is the young man Smith was shot because he had knowledge of the “alleged” crack vid. Knew where the phone was. Or had it himself and was shot and killed for it. Or had sold it to the “Somali” drug dealers. And Smith’s killer was pee’ed off about that and Hashimi – Smith’s alleged killer – was the third man in the pixilated photo. The idea being that the three young men were thinking it might be fun to prank the mayor, get him high and shoot it on a cell phone as a goof. Then it got out of hand. Seems to me this where the “maggots” in the media are headed with this without saying it explicitly.

  3. This whole debacle opened with esteemed publication Gawker’s single ‘journalist’ breaking a story about a video and ‘drug-dealers’, and then the Toronto Star giving wings to what may have been nothing more than Gawker’s video concoction in the first place.

    As for the video being hard to fake: only the two Star reporters can provide complete details to an expert video compositor, but based on what being provided so far, the matter would be a trivial digital exercise.

    • Why would Gawker fake a video? Do you frequent the website? It has no interest in Canada or Canadian politics. I can hear your conspiracy theory whirling in your brain. Come back to reality please.

      Why would any intelligent person believe a word this man has to say? Every time he does something like this he lies about it, and only admits to it when he gets found out.

      Drinking and Driving, possession of weed, being drunk and belligerent at a hockey game, flipping off a mother and her child while driving, the list goes on and on and on.

  4. The Toronto Star appears to have created this so-called ‘scandal’ without having to actually produce any original informants or even the ever-elusive alleged ‘crack video’ – in short, with no original evidence that it exists and shows authentically what they claim it shows. I was never particularly a Rob Ford supporter before but after seeing the way they’ve savaged Rob Ford’s reputation with this, and irreparably damaged Toronto’s reputation in the eyes of the world, I’ll never have the Toronto Star in my home again. Now they must be getting desperate since they must be realizing that, as all of the media frenzy dies away and there is still no convincing ‘proof’ to support their allegations, people will wake up to the fact that the TORONTO STAR – not Rob Ford – manufactured this so-called ‘scandal’ and besmirched Toronto’s good name in the process. I now think that it’s a real rag!

    • Savaged Rob Ford’s reputation? Rob Ford has had a poor reputation (for good reason) for well over a decade. This is scandal is just one in Ford’s long, long history of ignorance, incompetence and corruption – which is well documented and easily accessible to even the laziest of internet users. How many times has he denied doing things that he’s later been found guilty of? The list is too long to count. Sure, this could be the FIRST TIME EVER that he’s telling the truth, but who cares? He’s a pathological liar, and the evidence here is certainly not in his favour. If he wanted people to take him at his word, he should have started telling the truth a long time ago. He’s used up all of his ‘benefit of the doubt’ privileges, and now it’s too late. Also – the Star “besmirched Toronto’s good name”? The Star didn’t do that – the voting public who elected this opportunistic clown did. The blame lies with them.

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