Jan 21, 2014
By Jane Brown
Last May, when news of Rob Ford’s crack cocaine video broke, the mayor’s spokesman was begging him not to go on the radio to respond. Emails obtained by the Toronto Sun through a freedom of information request have provided a glimpse into the inner workings of the mayor’s office as the chaos and global media storm of the crack scandal was revealed. The 7000 pages of emails released by the city of Toronto yesterday show a mayor’s office scrambling to deal with the crisis and adjusting to staffing changes. On May 16th, the day the U.S. website Gawker broke the crack video story, Ford’s then press secretary George Christopoulos emailed chief of staff Mark Towhey with the subject line Mayor Ford. In the email, he writes, “Thanks Mark. I was speaking with him tonight begging him to stay off talk radio. Exhausting.” The next day, then councillor Norm Kelly, who later became Deputy Mayor, sent a short email to Towhey about the crack story. Kelly simply wrote, “Oh boy!!!!”. At the time, Rob Ford denied the existence of a video showing him smoking what appears to be crack. Months later, Toronto Police obtained the video. Ford eventually admitted he had done crack in one of his drunken stupors. He is running for a second term in this October’s municipal election.