During a short press conference Thursday, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford said he would be running again in the next election.
Ford, has been accused of smoking crack-cocaine, blatantly ignored reporters’ questions about the drug allegations.
The Mayor’s office has lost five staff members since the crack allegations surfaced. He fired his chief of staff without explanation last week, and two of his senior staff members — press secretary George Christopoulos and communications special assistant Isaac Ransom — resigned earlier this week.
Thursday, Brian Johnston, Ford’s advisor on council relations, and Kia Nejatian, Ford’s executive assistant, have also quit.
A CTV reporter said on air Thursday that there were complaints of under staffing in Ford’s office before the allegations surfaced and that it’s “highly unusual” to see this many staffers leave in such a short period of time.
Ford’s brother, city council member Doug Ford, assured the press that “hundreds” of resumes are coming in, and Mayor Ford said that he has been “interviewing candidates all week,” presumably to replace those who have left.
Scandal has engulfed Ford’s office since Gawker and The Toronto Star reported that they’d been shown a video of Ford smoking crack cocaine. The video has not yet surfaced, but Gawker’s “Crackstarter” crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo reached its $200,000 goal this week. Gawker has since lost touch with the people in possession of the video, but the website hopes to purchase it with the funds raised on Indiegogo.
Last week, Ford denied that he smokes crack cocaine, but has declined to answer many questions from the media during press conferences.
At Thursday’s press conference, he looked out at the media from behind a podium, repeatedly asking “Anything else?” as reporters shouted questions about the crack allegations.
Ford only addressed staffing concerns as he spoke, saying, “The work is being done. Phone calls are being returned and emails are being responded to.”
He also reassured the public that he would be seeking another term.
“I’m not stepping aside. I’m running in the next election,” he said. “I guarantee my name will be on the ballot.”
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