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Rob Ford’s chief of staff fired for trying to get mayor to rehab: reports

TORONTO – Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s now-former Chief of Staff Mark Towhey advised the mayor to seek help for his addiction, according to multiple media reports citing unnamed sources close to the administration.

It has not been established that the mayor has an addiction.

On Thursday Ford fired Towhey, who had been a top ally for years.

“I am no longer the chief of staff. I did not resign,” Towhey said as he was escorted out of city hall by security, followed by a barrage of media.

When speaking to media on Friday morning, Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday said he wouldn’t speculate on why Towhey was fired, but said, “I’m disappointed. Mark worked hard and he did a good job.”

It has been a week since reports surfaced of a video, seen by few, purporting to show Ford smoking what appears to be crack cocaine. The allegations have silenced the mayor and brought business at city hall to a standstill.

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Global News has not seen and cannot verify the authenticity of the alleged video.

Last Friday, Rob Ford called the allegations “ridiculous,” but, despite mounting pressure from numerous city councillors and media outlets to address the issue, he has since remained silent on the matter.

In a prepared statement made on Wednesday, Councillor Doug Ford defended his brother saying, “Rob has told me that these stories are untrue, that these allegations are ridiculous and I believe him.”

Also Wednesday Ford was let go as the football coach for the Don Bosco Eagles, a high school team in Etobicoke.

Ford’s removal, TCDSB officials said, had nothing to do with the recent video allegations but instead came at the culmination of a review initiated by the board over remarks the mayor made in an interview.

Councillor Jaye Robinson said she was told Towhey’s departure was related to football and was a “tipping point issue.”

But new reports claim that Towhey was fired because he told the mayor to get help.

As of Friday morning Gawker has raised more than $163,000 on crowd-funding platform Indiegogo to purchase the alleged crack cocaine video.

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However, Gawker editor John Cook admitted Thursday that he has been unable to get in contact with the video sellers.

“The last time we established contact with the people who are in possession of the video was this past Sunday, and we have not been able to reach them since,” Cook wrote in a post on Gawker.com.

“If you are considering contributing, you should be aware that our confidence that we can get a deal done has…diminished since we came up with this idea,” wrote Cook.