Rob Ford loses his last experienced staff members

Rob Ford loses his last experienced staff members

(Image: Christopher Drost)

If Rob Ford is going to make it as mayor until election day, he may have to do it all himself. Over the weekend, reporters learned that the only two remaining members of Ford’s office staff with city-hall experience are departing, albeit for different reasons.

The Globe reports that Tom Beyer, who has worked the mayor’s reception desk since 2010, is leaving for reasons to do with his personal “health and well-being.” It’s not clear whether stress was a factor in his decision, but it certainly could have been: Beyer was one of several Ford staffers whose conversations with Sandro Lisi were swept up by Toronto Police as part of Project Brazen 2. For a brief period in November, Beyer was headline news.

Before he handed in his resignation, Beyer was the last of Ford’s original office staff. Many of the mayor’s other once-loyal deputies departed in the aftermath of the Star’s first article on the existence of the crack video. Ford fired his former chief of staff, Mark Towhey, after he reportedly told the mayor to get help. Much of the rest of the mayor’s staff decamped for deputy mayor Norm Kelly’s office in November, after council stripped Ford of most of his powers and office budget.

In another blow to Ford’s administration, Amin Massoudi, the mayor’s communications coordinator, is going on extended leave. Massoudi’s reason for departing is more definite than Beyer’s: he tweeted this morning that he has been diagnosed with cancer. Massoudi had previously worked for the mayor’s brother, councillor Doug Ford, making him well seasoned—at least compared to the other people currently looking after the mayor’s affairs.

The mayor is now left with a chief of staff who last worked as a radio producer and a rank-and-file consisting of a few inexperienced “special assistants.” He has a campaign staff whose only known member is Doug. If any other mayoral candidate had such a ramshackle organization behind them, his or her election bid would be perceived to be in shambles. Rob Ford, meanwhile, soldiers on.