toronto rob ford

Key Ford staff members resign from mayor's office

Thing seem to be going from bad to worse below decks in Rob Ford's office. The mayor's press secretary and deputy press secretary have quit, becoming the latest members of Ford's staff to bail out in the wake of allegations he was caught on camera smoking crack cocaine.

George Christopoulos and Isaac Ransom, pictured at the centre of the picture above, left City Hall "on principle" earlier, joining fired chief of staff Mark Towhey who was reportedly dismissed for telling Rob Ford to "get help." The news also comes days after Ford hired former Don Bosco Eagles assistant coach Xhejsi Hasko, known as J.C., to work under him. The news of that appointment was only made public today.

In the moments after the departure Rob Ford was pictured wandering through the empty office stalls with security staff and city manager Joe Pennachetti.

Speaking with the press as he left his office for a meeting, Ford apologized for calling the Toronto media "maggots" on his Newstalk 1010 radio show last Sunday. "You have a job to, and it's been bothering me a lot," he said.

He said Christopoulos and Ransom had decided to "go down a different avenue" and would be replaced by Doug Ford's chief of staff Amin Massoudi and another staffer Sunny Petrujkic.

"I wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors, and I want to thank them for working hard in this office ... we're just soldiering on," he said.

The mayor's office officially confirmed the departures in a brief written statement:

"Effective immediately, George Christopoulos and Isaac Ransom are no longer employed in the Office of the Mayor. The Mayor thanks both George and Isaac for their valuable contributions and wishes them the best in their future endeavours. Sunny Petrujkic will be the interim Press Secretary until further notice."

Meanwhile, Gawker's Crackstarter fund is rapidly approaching has just reached its $200,000 goal.

Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Image: Chris Bateman/blogTO Flickr pool.


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