TORONTO – In another chaotic day in Mayor Rob Ford’s office, two more staffers resigned — making a total of five staffers who were fired or quit in one week.
There was no official word on why policy adviser Brian Johnston left but he told reporters he had resigned because of “other things I’d like to move on to.”
Ford’s executive assistant, Kia Nejatian, also left the mayor’s office early in the day.
“Effective immediately, Brian Johnston and Kia Nejatian are no longer employed in the office of the mayor,” Ford’s office said in a statement.
“The mayor wants to thank both Brian and Kia for their service and hard work. He wishes them all the best in their future endeavours.”
Some councillors say the mayor should resign like so many in his office, but Ford rejects that.
“I’m not stepping aside,” he said. “I’m running in the next election. If the great people of this city want to go in a different direction, that’s what their prerogative is.”
Despite losing five staffers in seven days, Ford says his office is not in turmoil and he is not worried about the city’s image.
“There’s nothing going on in my office, obviously. I’m bringing in new staff and if people have a better opportunity, I encourage them to move on,” he said.
“Things are doing great and we’re doing fine.”
The mayor was peppered again with questions about the alleged drug video and he rejected them all.
The mayor has said publicly he does not smoke crack cocaine and the video does not exist.
Ford had parted ways with three key staff members — his chief of staff and two communications aides — since the crack scandal first erupted two weeks ago.
Premier Kathleen Wynne also weighed in on the controversy Thursday.
Wynne says Ford has to deal with his personal issues because the situation threatens to undermine the public’s confidence in city council.
“As a citizen and as premier of the province, I’m concerned that things are not as they should be at city hall,” she said.
She stopped short of saying Ford should resign but said the province is prepared to take action if and when it is appropriate.
Coun. Doug Ford fired back at the premier, saying to “get your own house in order.”
“I find it ironic an unelected premier that’s up to her eyeballs in scandals, wasting billions of dollars, of tax dollars, she has the nerve, hypocrisy to come and criticize the mayor.”
“Get your own house in order. Get it in order for the taxpayers.”
Who is left in the mayor’s office:
- Brooks Barnett
- Thomas Beyer
- Brendan Croskerry
- Christopher Fickel
- Xhejsi (J.C.) Hasko
- Carley McNeil
- Sheila Paxton
- Sanjin (Sunny) Petrujkic
- Michael Prempeh
- David Price
- Earl Provost
680News reporter Kevin Misener and CityNews reporter Cynthia Mulligan were at city hall. Read a re-cap of their tweets below.