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Ex-PMO spokesman appointed GTA citizenship judge

A former Toronto newspaper columnist who served briefly as Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s director of communications has been appointed as a citizenship judge.

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney says Angelo Persichilli will take on the role of citizenship judge for the Greater Toronto Area.

Persichilli was hired as communications director in the Prime Minister’s Office in August 2011, but resigned in March 2012 after less than a year in the job.

He cited the demands of the job and his age — he was 64 at the time — as reasons for leaving the post.

Born in Italy, Persichilli emigrated to Canada in 1975 and worked for Corriere Canadese, CFMT television and RAI-TV.

He also wrote columns for The Hill Times newspaper, the Toronto Sun and the Toronto Star.