Rob Ford Has Fired His Chief of Staff

Rob Ford Has Fired His Chief of StaffToronto Mayor Rob Ford has fired his chief of staff, Mark Towhey. No reason has been given. He was relieved of his duties and escorted from the premises by security this afternoon.

Meanwhile, it's been an entire week since three reporters from two different publications revealed what they witnessed in a video that allegedly shows Rob Ford smoking crack, calling Justin Trudeau a "fag" and the students at Don Bosco "just fucking minorities". It's been a whole week, and our mayor has said almost nothing. He hasn't admitted he has a problem nor strongly denied the allegations. I'm convinced his strategy is to avoid the issue in the hopes it will simply blow over.

Has Mark Towhey been fired because he disagreed with this awful strategy? Has Mark Towhey been fired because of this crack controversy?

With Rob Ford still in office, we have many questions but few answers.

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Mississauga Phil

He was the one holding the camera??

May 23, 2013 @ 3:03 PM


In the words of Stu Price...'What the hell is going on??'

May 23, 2013 @ 3:08 PM


This has been an "Unbelievable" week for Mayor Ford.
It certainly appears that things are totally out of control.
Until someone actually speaks ( like you Mayor Ford ), who the hell knows?

May 23, 2013 @ 3:09 PM


"Everything is happening!"

A confused Bob Cole

May 23, 2013 @ 3:12 PM


Councilor Jaye Robinson said the firing had to do with "football."

Wait what?

May 23, 2013 @ 3:20 PM


Ford's silence has been absolutely deafening.

Like you said Mike everyone across the political spectrum is united in their belief he has to face this head on. I'm shocked he has said nothing so far.

This scandal reminds me of something I read in Theo Fluerys' book. I'm paraphrasing here but basically said he was upset when people called him a crack head because he never touched crack. Sure he did cocaine but he stayed away from crack. That puts it in perspective for me.

May 23, 2013 @ 3:31 PM

4x4 Time

Not sure what thoughts or strategies are behind Ford's silence but it is pretty bizarre. Almost makes me think he is out trying to obtain the phone and video himself, and when he does, then he speaks.
By the way, not sure how old it is, but I just saw the "Fat Fuck" video of Ford. Sadly, it is pretty funny.

May 23, 2013 @ 3:32 PM


There's a rumour he's about to announce his new Chief of Staff. His name is Dave Williams....

May 23, 2013 @ 3:34 PM

Ryan G

Man if i was Ford i'd just quit and go hang out at his family business to make labels all day.

When you make labels, nobody notices when you text and drive, get drunk 'n rowdy at a leafs game, spout racist comments, smoke crack, wear baby diapers, suck on a soother & sleep in a crib.

(That last part is untrue by the actuality it's ADULT diapers)

May 23, 2013 @ 3:40 PM

Blind Dave

What are the chances the silence is due to his lawyers telling him to SAY NOTHING?

May 23, 2013 @ 3:55 PM


I can't see how he can be figuring this will just blow over. Despite earlier predictions here that the fund-raising effort to buy the video was going to fail, Gawker has raised $140,000 towards the $200,000 goal, and still has 4 days left to go.

It looks to me that unless Ford himself has already bought and destroyed the video, this is going to come out for the world to see.

May 23, 2013 @ 3:57 PM


You mean, bought a crack dealer's assurances that all the copies in existence have been irretrievably deleted.

May 23, 2013 @ 4:01 PM

4x4 Time

@Blind Dave - Yes,very possible but you would think he or his lawyers would at least say publicly that his lawyers have advised him not to comment while they look into potential legal action, or something like that.

May 23, 2013 @ 4:02 PM


@markosaar - good point. It actually would make no sense for Ford to try and buy it. In that case, I believe we'll be seeing this video soon.

May 23, 2013 @ 4:10 PM


He's done. There's no way he's going to last the whole term. Either he quites or council finds a way to dismiss him.

This is embarrassing, yet strangely entertaining.

May 23, 2013 @ 4:13 PM


Who ever said politics are boring!

If the video is a total left-wing pinko financed CGI instrument of hate, wouldn't you stand up and shout from the highest podium that it is all a lie and you will sue the Toronto Star!?

If only I could get a balanced, nuanced response from a conservative, like, oh I don't know, Dave Williams perhaps?

May 23, 2013 @ 4:24 PM


@ Mike...

Are all comments now vetted or ones just containing the phrase "Dave Williams"?

It is like very own Patriot Act in action!

May 23, 2013 @ 4:26 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


It was just those. But not any more....

May 23, 2013 @ 4:37 PM


@Mike Speaking of Dave, Have you decided against doing a blog post about it?

May 23, 2013 @ 4:41 PM

Ben Vidal

@ Gump: Nothing balanced or nuanced about any of Dave's comments. EVER.

May 23, 2013 @ 5:04 PM


drip drip drip, yesterday his football team dropped him. Drip drip drip, today one of his most loyal and vocal staff members is let go.

@markosaar, smart comment about making copies, that seems like the obvious thing, they can sell it to Ford and than even sell the other to another person, then again we are dealing with crack heads, as we are noticing now in City hall. People on crack aren't the smartest folks around.

I am conflicted, as citizen of a city it's sad seeing this mess of a man staying in power. But as a left leaning person, nothing is better than Ford desperately staying in power. How great is it putting the "tough on crime" PM connected to a sitting Mayor who photographed with drug dealers & internationally expected crackhead, and have spineless Hudak being attached to Ford unstable antics. This is how stupid Ford Nation is, they have no idea how damaging to the brand this is. We have a bunch of "right wing folks saying "being on crack is not so bad", liberals can't get a better gift than this.

Jonathan Kay (a conservative writer for the national post) is already trying to distance himself (and conservatism) from Ford in an article that went up today. Even though Kay butchered the Dale/backyard incident (that most misreported Ford/Star story ever) Kay did make a point that "Ford nation" is "cult like" and that Ford represents more of a culture warrior than conservative ideologue. If Ford goes out, it will have to be from the inside. People who don't think being associated with Ford is good for the resume for individuals or brand a group. But Ford is so wacked and selfish I doubt he could be pushed out.

May 23, 2013 @ 5:23 PM


@Derrick - council cannot dismiss a mayor in any way. The only way he ceases to be mayor is by resigning or via the courts if he is found to be in conflict of interest (not relevant here).

@Argie - that was a good one. I LOL'd.

May 23, 2013 @ 5:41 PM



You are a real left wing wing-nut.
First you quote Johnathan Kay as saying that Ford Nation is cult like. really? Don't forget he was voted in with largest majority in Canadian mayoral history. That's one hell of a big "Cult".
Then you ignorantly try to tie all of Fords mess in with Harper and Hudak.
I doubt Fords antics will have any effect on Primeminister Harper or the next Premier Hudak.
Harper is toughest on Crime priminister we have ever had in this Country.
And Hudak thanks to your wonderful NDP has two years to sell his hold the spending platform out to the voters. Lord knows with the NDP and Liberals running the show for two years we will be spent into oblivion.
So don't let your left wing anti Conservative rants blur the real facts in this case.
And one other thing the only thing Ford is guilty of at this point is his silence, of which I am very disappointed, being a staunch Ford supporter.

May 23, 2013 @ 6:13 PM


Mike...any comment from Freddie P?

May 23, 2013 @ 7:16 PM


I don't know about the chief of staff, but since Tuesday Freddie P has been saying Ford needs to GTFO. He's a little sympathetic towards some of the vitriol directed at Ford, but doesn't doubt the veracity of the video.

May 23, 2013 @ 7:57 PM


My guess is that Ford bought the recording, or paid to see it deleted. When the cheque is cashed and the dealers out of town the copies will appear. This should keep us entertained until the Stanley Cup final game. (my joke at saying a long time from now)

May 23, 2013 @ 8:48 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


I changed my mind about that blog post.

May 23, 2013 @ 9:53 PM

Mississauga Phill

@ Tron- a hardcore lefty is as bad as a hardcore righty. The NDP is a shadow of what it was under Layton. Trudeau is simply not qualified to run a country. At best he'd be a puppet PM being manipulated by the idiots who ran the last campaign. If anyone but Harper is elected we are screwed.

May 23, 2013 @ 11:15 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

"You have a problem. Go away and fix it." Mark Towhey to Rob Ford according to this CBC report:

May 23, 2013 @ 11:33 PM


What's so great about Harper?

I'm personally biased toward throwing out the ruling party by default every 2-3 terms. The federal Conservatives are showing all the tell-tale signs of a party that's gotten fat lazy and sloppy with corruption.

I don't have too much of a problem with their first two terms, but I am troubled by their current disregard for science and expert knowledge ... seemingly leading by political dogma rather than evidence-based practice.

An early disappointment for me (and example of disregard for research) was their whole "get tough on crime" pandering. The problem is that unless you're locking people up for life or executing them, they will be on the streets again, even with longer sentencing, typically long before they're too doddering to give up those ways.

So ... should you be working on rehabilitation and/or diversion ... or hardening them further?

The research also says that longer sentences do sweet fuck all for deterrence. Most crime is spontaneous and ... not very well thought out.

I thought it was very telling that even Texas corrections felt the need to speak up about how wrong-headed the Conservative policy was.

I'm not so sure how important Trudeau's experience is. It's not like Harper or Obama had particularly much going in.

I'd say it's the platform that's important ... but when has any party ever stuck to that?

May 23, 2013 @ 11:46 PM


I have to agree with everyone who believes that Ford bought the video himself. That's probably what he did all last weekend. Would love for someone in Anonymous hack into his phone records.

May 23, 2013 @ 11:48 PM


Hello Anonymous, how are you, Topiary says hello. Have no fear several people will be going for a ride.

May 24, 2013 @ 12:09 AM


Apparently Gawker has lost contact with the Somali pirates/drug lords...hmmmm

May 24, 2013 @ 7:35 AM


@Wayner, I heard that and thought the same thing too.

Listen, I do not live in Toronto and I'm not a Ford supporter but "they" have been out to get this guy since day 1.

May 24, 2013 @ 8:38 AM


It sounds crazy, but this whole fiasco might actually blow over. Maybe Ford is not the idiot most people think he is.

May 24, 2013 @ 8:55 AM


Really Argie? On what basis do you make that claim?

May 24, 2013 @ 9:00 AM



Um, the possibility that this video might not surface at all (please see above).

May 24, 2013 @ 9:10 AM


Doug Holyday to speak at a news conference at 9:30 ... my 1st thought, is here's where it all comes out. Thinking more about it, I can't see Rob Ford taking this path to providing the details around the alleged drug use, and how he will proceed (rehab? resignation? further denial?). Regardless, I hope this thing ends soon, and people can begin to move forward again.

May 24, 2013 @ 9:10 AM


If Ford bought the video, I hope all the city's financial books are gone over with a fine-toothed comb.

May 24, 2013 @ 9:28 AM


So much Ford stuff. I wish he would resign or something. This is it. Get George Smitherman to run and then he could win and we would have a really good Mayor.

May 24, 2013 @ 11:01 AM


Cheryl for mayor!

May 24, 2013 @ 11:24 AM


Argie - The 'surfacing' of the video is hardly related to the intelligence of the Mayor.

But its nice to know that you acknowledge the video exists. It is also revealing of your personality and YOUR intelligence that you believe intelligence and the ability to get away with smoking crack are linked.

Whether the recording becomes public or not is ore related to the negotiating ability of the person that has it. And seeing as he turned down $40,000 his skills leave much to be desired.

May 24, 2013 @ 12:01 PM


Oh lighten up Icarus. You're boring me.

May 24, 2013 @ 1:01 PM

Cheryl's Trainer

C'mon Cheryl...smitherman is a crook, I know he was nice when I introduced him to you, but he stole taxpayer money.

Off to shuffleboard practice now

May 24, 2013 @ 2:40 PM


So both the Post and Sun are reporting an unnamed 'source' told them Towhey was fired for telling Ford to go get help.

I guess these papers are out to get Ford too. So... all the papers are out to get Ford?

May 24, 2013 @ 5:50 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

The more I think about Ford's non-denial denial, the more it seems like he's setting himself up in case the video surfaces.

His base and the naive will see it as a denial, but if the video is released he can tell everyone he did it that one time.

He's hedging his bets and playing word games. That's why it was a carefully prepared statement and why he won't take any questions and will likely never talk about it again. The next time he's asked about the video, he'll say "I've addressed that already".

Of course he didn't, but it will allow him to dodge questions forever and ever unless another bombshell drops. And that's inevitable.

May 24, 2013 @ 6:10 PM


@sidephil "Don't forget he was voted in with largest majority in Canadian mayoral history" - I'm going to prove right now that Ford is a liar, and problem is he repeats lies enough people take it as face value and don't look for facts.
2010 Ford 47% - Smitherman 36%, 2006 Miller 56% - Pitfield 32%, 2000 Lastman 80%, - Gomberg 8%. Percentage wise both Milller and Last got over 50% of the vote that Ford never did. Ford won this past election by 93,000, Miller won in 2006 by 144,000 and Lastman in 2000 won by 432,000. Lastman actually won by more votes in 2000 than Ford actually got in total in 2010!

You seem like a nice person, not dissing you, and you don't seem like a full "Ford cult nation" guy. But this is it, he throws make believe numbers, and people just repeating without thinking "wait didn't Lastman win huge once". He says things and his supporters repeat that just comes off as creepy. Which again Jonathan Kay (a conservative writer) picked up on it too. Like hey he won an election so there shouldn't be an opposition (EVERY government needs opitionion, even my favorite Liberals) Hey media leave him alone (no there job is to focus on our leaders)

Do you support the man more than the agenda? Because Kay repeated quotes like "I don't care if he smokes pot, he keeping my taxes low". Which of course is news to me as my property tax keeps going up, but hey when Ford does it it's inflation when Miller does it its "Damn tax hikes" But back to the quote, in this entire city there NO OTHER politician that can has a similar agenda of Ford without the baggage? Listening to Ford fans is less to do with substance(pardon the pun) more of an unhealthy worship of him. For goodness sake he and his supports call themsleves a nation under Ford. Like I said, creepy.

As for my federal and provincial Conservatives connections for Ford. Not really sure what I said was so controversial. It's custom practice to to try to pin a leader of a party to somebody who's not looking so good. If the sitting Mayor refuses to leave as everything and everybody is falling apart around him. The government opponents will make the "entitled conservative who refuses to leave, along with Duffy" and serioulsy if you like Hudak, I would suggest him to go the opposite direction of the Fords, those guys will turn on him on a dime.

May 24, 2013 @ 7:53 PM


When Ford was fired from his coaching gig he wanted to throw a pizza party for the players and staff.

I think Towhey should offer to have a pizza party with all the city councilors, since this is what Ford thinks people do when they've been fired.
Guest of Honour could be Gary Webster.

May 25, 2013 @ 1:06 PM


Essentially, what scares me is the large media circus mounted without any concrete proof being shown. In my naïve understanding, I thought anyone should be treated as innocent until proven guilty. Instead, clearly, if someone powerful does
not like someone else, the victim can be effectvely ruined just with groundless accusations, and a lot of citizens go along with it. How stupid can these citizens become? If they let the
media circus impress them to this extent the media will get into the habit, and the same could happen to any of them too.

I must specify that in all this I do not even care whether or not the accusations are founded: the modus operandi scares me. Finally, I do not think I would be very impressed even if all of the accusations were true. What matters to me are the practical results, because I am a practical person. So my question is: how does this affect the city "mechanics"? I believe that the worst
damage is done by the media circus itself, not by any other fact connected with it.

May 25, 2013 @ 9:12 PM

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