Mark Towhey, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's chief of staff, has been fired, according to numerous Toronto City Hall reporters.
"I am no longer the chief of staff. I did not resign," Towhey told Global reporter Jackson Proskow.
"I am no longer the chief of staff. I did not resign" said Towhey as he was escorted out of city hall by security.— Jackson Proskow (@JProskowGlobal) May 23, 2013
"I’ve given the mayor my advice. He can take it or not take it,” Towhey said to journalists before leaving City Hall.
A brief statement from Ford's office gave no reason for Towhey's firing but said that deputy chief of staff Earl Provost will take over Towhey's job. Provost had served as interim chief of staff.
Twitter reacts to Towhey's firing. Story continues below slideshow:
Did he give $90,000 to Mike Duffy too? | Mayor Rob Ford fires his chief of staff, Mark Towhey: http://t.co/MUSqONQiJm #topoli
"I think this is ill-timed" Cllr Jaye Robinson on Mark Towhey's departure #TOpoli
@towhey Either you were TRULY honest with him, or he was no longer willing to work with you. Either way, bravo, good sir.
I guess @towhey just found out what happens when you speak truth to stupid.
For those keeping score, Gary Webster got far more of an explanation for his firing, in a mayoral press statement, than @towhey. #TOpoli
@toronto_life When Rob Ford can't trust his most trusted advisor, who can he trust? At least Mark Towhey left with wit & class.
.@towhey may have a clean car, but that didn't prevent him from getting tire tracks on his back. #TOpoli
Best part of the Towhey exit is when he quips: "Watch your backs, I don't want to run into a camera." http://t.co/6nGbvGe9o5 #topoli
"Mr. Towhey has been a intricate part of the Mayor's Office" – complicated guy, I guess?
Cllr Jaye Robinson said Mark Towhey's firing was related not to the crack cocaine scandal but to football. Which is actually plausible.
"Effective immediate, [Towhey] is no longer working in the office of the mayor." Which is different from the mayor how? #TOpoli
I think this firing is a career saver for Mark Towhey, its dangerous standing next to career bomb that goes off regularily. #MayorFord
Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday expressed shock at the Towhey's abrupt exit from the mayor's office.
"I didn't see this coming," he told CP24.
Councillor Jaye Robinson told the National Post that the situation in Ford's office resembled "a train crash. Right now, that’s the only way to describe it. It’s one thing after the next. It’s not even daily right now, it’s hourly.”
Holyday said he is shocked by the news, says Towhey worked hard. "I didn't see this coming."— CP24 (@CP24) May 23, 2013
Towhey took the Chief of Staff job in August, 2012. According to Towhey's LinkedIn profile, he served as Ford's director of policy and strategic planning before taking the top job in the mayor's office.
Towhey's exit comes at a critical time for the Ford administration. Last week, the Toronto Star and Gawker reported on the existence of a video that allegedly shows Mayor Ford smoking crack. Ford has been quiet about the allegations, only issuing a brief statement calling the matter "ridiculous." On Wednesday, his brother, councillor Doug Ford, made a full-throated statement defending the mayor, calling the allegations a media vendetta against his brother.
The crack video scandal has made Toronto a punchline for comedians, including the Daily Show's Jon Stewart. Gawker, one of the outlets which broke the story, is currently trying to raise money to buy the video.
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