Police documents offer glimpse of chaos in Mayor Rob Ford's office
Published Wednesday, November 13, 2013 8:13PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, November 14, 2013 8:04AM EST
Newly released court documents reveal the alleged dysfunction inside Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s office after reports first surfaced of a video that shows the mayor smoking from a crack pipe.
None of the statements in the court documents have been tested or proven in court.
George Christopoulos, Ford’s former press secretary, told police that Ford’s former chief of staff, Mark Towhey, was fired after he gave the mayor three options on how to respond to media reports about the video.
Towhey wrote three separate statements for Ford. One statement had the mayor telling reporters that he would take a leave of absence, another stated that he would resign and the last said: “I do not do this, I do not do this, I do not do this,” according to the court documents.
But Christopoulos said Ford decided to say something “completely off the mark” instead.
On May 24, Ford told reporters: “I do not use crack cocaine. Nor am I an addict of crack cocaine. As for a video, I can’t comment on a video I have never seen or does not exist.”
Christopoulos said the mayor’s staff “figured that he had an issue with something, both alcohol or prescription pills, and that he needed to straighten himself out for his family.”
But he said “the mayor was deep in denial.”
After he was dismissed as head football coach at the Don Bosco high school in May, the mayor called Towhey later that day “in tears, sobbing and completely distraught,” according to the court documents.
Ford wanted to have a party at his house with all the Don Bosco players afterward, but Towhey told him that no staffers would be used to help organize the event.
Ford got angry with Towhey, who was fired and escorted out of city hall the next day.
Christopoulos also told police that staffer Isaac Ransom resigned because “the mayor was incapable of taking direction” and did not trust anyone.
Christopoulos also said the mayor would call him very late at night or early in the morning. One time, Ford called from his father’s gravesite, according to the documents.
Christopoulos said that David Price, a friend of the Ford family, was hired to be the mayor’s director of operations and logistics after he “basically badgered the mayor to give him a job.”
“The mayor finally gave in and hired him at double the price of everyone else in the office,” which did not go over well with the staff, according to the documents.
Price himself told investigators that he had known Ford for 35 years and that he has not seen the mayor doing drugs. But Price said he was concerned about the mayor’s drinking. He also said that Ford is “ridiculously stubborn,” which makes it difficult for his staff to approach him about problems.
According to the court documents, Price also told police that Ford “loves to do the small stuff, the customer service. The strategic stuff is all Doug Ford (mayor’s brother).”
After several members of Ford’s staff resigned, the mayor offered his remaining staffers more money to stay on the job, Christopoulos told police.
Christopoulos was among those who walked away from the mayor’s office, along with executive assistant Kia Nejatian.
Nejatian told police that staffers started panicking after Towhey was fired because he provided “proper direction and advice.”
Towhey was the one who would push back when Ford wanted staff to do his personal errands, Nejatian said.
Another staffer, Chris Fickel, who ran a lot of personal errands for the mayor, said he endured a lot of verbal abuse.
He said the mayor would belittle him in front of other people and say “this kid is as useless as two tits on a bull."