Mark Towhey was Rob Ford’s chief of staff from 2012 until about a week after the start of the crack scandal, in May 2013, and his firing is already the stuff of legend. Ford reportedly dismissed his once-trusted lieutenant after Towhey advised the mayor to get help for his obvious substance problems—advice that wasn’t ultimately heeded until far too late. Now, it seems Towhey is writing a tell-all memoir of his time spent working for the mayor, beginning with the 2010 municipal election. The Star reports that the book will be released a few days before this year’s election, on October 21. Anyone hoping for damning new details may be disappointed, though. The publisher’s description says that the book “is not the account of a man eager to get revenge.”
The latest bombshell in the Rob Ford crack scandal dropped on Wednesday afternoon, when Scott MacIntyre, the mayor’s former brother-in-law, served him with a statement of claim in the middle of budget proceedings at city hall. The accusation: the mayor of Toronto orchestrated a jailhouse beating of MacIntyre as a means of keeping him quiet about Ford’s alleged drug use and associations with known criminals. After so many intense scandals, Toronto’s city councillors and commentators seem weary—benumbed by the cascading series of revelations. Here, eight key quotes from notable Torontonians.
“It’s just ongoing, you know? What are you going to do? You just got to focus on saving taxpayers money. And I work out. And I’m going to Vancouver this weekend.”
—Mayor Rob Ford, on American talk radio show The Sports Junkies
“It’s a planned attack meant to shame Ford and it’s another drop in the bucket of baseless allegations.”
—Dennis Morris, Rob Ford’s defence attorney
On Monday, reporters at a few Toronto news outlets laid hands on something they’d been chasing for months: a stack of emails sent to and by Rob Ford’s senior staff members before and after May 16, the day Gawker published the first story about Ford’s crack video.
Several reporters filed freedom of information requests shortly after the story broke, and it has taken this long for the city to prepare the emails for release. (They had to be culled and redacted.) Was it worth the wait? Well, sort of. No incredible revelations have been reported so far, but the documents do provide a new perspective on how Ford’s closest advisors handled the crisis. It’s clear now that their biggest challenge wasn’t handling the press; it was handling the mayor.
Here are four things we learned from yesterday evening’s stories about the emails.
Rob Ford plans to sue Mark Towhey, Isaac Ransom, “the media,” BierMarkt and everyone who said mean things about him
The city hall circus has already started up for the day. Rob Ford—sporting an Argos jersey and cowboy boots—just told reporters that he’ll sue former aides Mark Towhey, Isaac Ransom and George Christopoulos for the damning comments they made about him to police. (Among the ex-staffers’ claims revealed in yesterday’s document release: Ford hung out with a suspected sex worker at city hall; that staff believed the mayor had an issue with alcohol or prescription pills, including OxyContin; and that Ford pushed and verbally abused staffers.) Ford is also planning to sue a waiter at the BierMarkt who said he believed he heard the mayor doing lines of cocaine at the restaurant, as well as the media as a whole. “It’s unfortunate I have to take legal action,” Ford said, before vowing, “No one, but no one, is gonna accuse me of having escorts and doing lines at a bar.” The mayor is copping to at least one of the claims, however: “I might have had some drinks and driven, that’s absolutely wrong.”
No word yet on whether the Argos plan on suing the mayor for making this morning’s statement—including several lurid comments about oral sex—in their jersey.
Shocking new details surface about Rob Ford: booze, cocaine and “even a suspected prostitute” in the mayor’s office [UPDATED]
Here we go again.
Justice Ian Nordheimer ruled today that some redacted bits in the police documents released last week—those that make up the information to obtain a search warrant into the goings-on of Alessandro Lisi—can be released to the public. Unsurprisingly, almost all newly revealed passages concern mayor Rob Ford. Just what was hiding behind those black bars? The Toronto Sun is reporting that it’s basically bombshell after bombshell—a word that’s starting to lose all meaning in the current scandal-blistered Fordscape we all inhabit. Omitted details, according to media lawyer Iain MacKinnon, include: Read the rest of this entry »
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Mayor Rob Ford’s second press conference on Tuesday saw him read a detailed and repetitive apology for smoking crack, in which he insisted he “had nothing left to hide.” Forgive us for not taking the mayor at his word, but we still have a few questions about this whole crack situation. Here, our list of 62 outstanding queries not yet addressed by Ford:
1. What is the mayor’s take on the homophobic and racist remarks he allegedly made on the video that is now in police possession? Read the rest of this entry »
2. Has the mayor accepted Bill Blair‘s invitation to watch the video that supposedly shows Ford smoking crack?
3. What is the mayor’s reaction to allegations published yesterday that his spokesperson tried to hire a hacker to find and dispose of the infamous video?
4. Will he co-operate with the police in their ongoing investigation?
5. Or even accept the cops’ invitation to meet voluntarily?
Read the rest of this entry »
In the two weeks since news broke that Rob Ford (allegedly) smokes crack, the mayor has lost his temper, nearly a third of his staff and any semblance of dignity. The mayor’s official Twitter account, however, has been operating in an alternate reality—one in which Ford’s dealing with nothing more pressing than some pesky gypsy moths. Below, we compare life in Fordlandia to what’s really been going on.
In the 11 days since Gawker broke the story that mayor Rob Ford (allegedly) likes to smoke a little crack in his drug dealer’s basement, Toronto has seen furious denials, crowd-funded campaigns, late-night wisecracks, staff departures and a lot of media mobs outside the mayor’s office. There’s a new meltdown every day; here, a roundup of the latest developments.
Only four days after the mayor’s chief of staff Mark Towhey was fired, two more of Rob Ford’s close advisors have quit. The departures this afternoon of press secretary George Christopoulos and his assistant Isaac Ransom leave Ford with just one senior staffer, acting chief of staff Earl Provost—and questions are already swirling about how much longer he’ll stick around. Both staffers reportedly left “on principle,” though more specific details on what exactly led them to resign are still scarce. (Former Ford press secretary Adrienne Batra’s latest column about the mayor’s unwillingness to listen to advice may provide some clues.) Ford is expected to deliver a statement shortly.
I don’t use crack cocaine nor am I an addict.
Rob Ford’s crazy week just got crazier. Mark Towhey, the mayor’s chief of staff and according to many the brains behind team Ford, was fired and escorted out of city hall by security this afternoon. The news is shocking given Towhey was known for bullying, intimidating and upbraiding councillors who didn’t fall in line with the mayor’s agenda and was one of Ford Nation’s political masterminds long before he became Ford’s third chief of staff in less than two-and-a-half years. Towhey has confirmed to reporters that he did not resign. On the crack-smoking allegations currently dogging Ford, he said: “I have given the mayor my advice. He can choose to take it or not take it.” The evil genius parted with a quip to the Toronto Sun reporter snapping photos of him driving out of the city hall parkade, tweeting, “Very happy now that I remembered to wash my car yesterday.”
The Toronto Star took aim at Rob Ford once again this morning with a lengthy story alleging that the mayor struggles to control his binge drinking. While the deeply reported article contains plenty of specific details—some bordering on lurid—from current and former staffers, none of them were willing to put their names in print. Below, we round up the story’s biggest claims.
Sarah Thomson says that Rob Ford made a lewd comment at a function at the Arcadian Court last night. She posted an image on Facebook with a caption early this morning that reads:
Thought it was a friendly hello to Toronto Mayor Rob Ford at the CJPAC Action Party tonight until he suggested I should have been in Florida with him last week because his wife wasn’t there. Seriously wanted to punch him in the face. Happy International Women’s Day!
The Toronto Star has officially ruined any chance of Rob Ford returning from his vacation in Disney World with his ethical troubles behind him. The city’s paper of record reported yesterday that Ford’s still sending letters to lobbyists soliciting donations for his football charity, even though similar fundraising tactics triggered the conflict-of-interest saga that nearly saw the mayor booted from office. As per usual, Toronto’s politicos responded to the story both with angry tirades and expressions of staunch support. We round up the best below.
Metro Toronto Convention Centre, October 15. The Mayor’s Ball for the Arts, an annual black-tie fundraiser founded by Mel Lastman in 1998, had been on hiatus since 2002, until His Worship Rob Ford, of all mayors, revived it this year. Playing nice with the city’s moneyed arts patrons was a savvy pre-election move. But Ford’s handlers couldn’t keep a plebeian note out of the proceedings. Among the silent auction items was one dubbed the McMayor, which promised one Big Mac combo per month for a year. Apparently, Ford’s charm offensive worked: the burger deal was snapped up for $80, a chance to host the mayor for dinner sold for $6,000, and a 20-person cruise featuring the big fella went for $9,000. By night’s end, the event had hauled in $1 million—a cause for celebration among the arts community, not to mention an early and subtle shot across the bow to anyone considering a run for the top job in 2014. Read the rest of this entry »
Read the rest of this entry »