Toronto mayoral car-crash: homicide detectives search mayor's office after tip on crack-smoking video; top staffers quit

More drama from the world of Toronto Mayor "Laughable Bumblefuck" Ford -- first, reporters from two rival news entities independently verified the existence of a video showing the mayor smoking what appeared to be crack cocaine and passing racist remarks about the kids on the football team he coached.

The mayor was told by the Catholic high school where he coached football that he was no longer welcome around their boys. The mayor's chief of staff, Mark Towhey, was escorted out of the building by security after the mayor fired him, allegedly after he told the mayor to go into rehab, and insisted that it would be a bad idea to take back the athletic equipment he'd given to the school that had just canned him.

Then, after the mayor and his brother, Councillor Doug Ford, pursued an approach of near-total silence (apart from some perfunctory denials), the Globe and Mail finally ran an investigative piece on the mayor's family that it had been working on for 18 months, detailing extensive familial connections to unsavory criminal drug-dealers (and the KKK!) and alleging that Councillor Doug Ford had been one of the top hash dealers in Toronto's western suburb of Etobicoke. This prompted the Ford brothers to finally break their media silence and go on a mini press-tour, calling reporters "a bunch of maggots" and Globe editor-in-chief John Stackhouse "a disgusting human being," denying everything. They especially denied that there was a video smoking crack, leading some to speculate that the wealthy Ford family had bought off the video from the drug dealers who'd been shopping it around.

Then Toronto homicide detectives raided the mayor's office, following a tip that the mayor's staff knew the where the video was.

And now, finally, the mayor's press secretary George Christopoulos and his assistant, Isaac Ransom, have both quit.

Mr. Ford told a scrum of journalists outside his office that the pair had “decided to go … down a different avenue.” He said he was told of their departures around noon.

“I wish them the best of luck in their future endeavours and I want to thank them for working hard in this office,” he said, flanked by his brother Councillor Doug Ford.

Mr. Ford declined to say why Mr. Christopoulos and Mr. Ransom had quit, but said he never wants to “hold anyone back from moving on for future endeavours or opportunities that they may have.”

Mr. Ford announced that Amin Massoudi, Doug’s executive assistant, had agreed to become his new communications director. An earlier statement said Sunny Petrujkic would be interim press secretary.

The mayor also responded to a Globe and Mail report that a senior member of his office was interviewed by police last week about a tip linking the alleged crack video to a recent Toronto homicide.

“Everything’s fine. I have no idea what the police are investigating,” Mr. Ford said.

Two senior members of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's staff resign [Elizabeth Church and Jill Mahoney/Globe and Mail]