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Ford fired chief of staff for rehab advice: reports

Mayor Rob Ford fired his chief of staff after Mark Towhey repeatedly urged him to get help, according to multiple reports.

Citing unnamed sources, The Toronto Sun and CBC said the mayor had been encouraged to deal with his personal problems and that Ford needed to “go away and get help.” Meanwhile, The Globe and Mail reported the plan was to put the mayor on a plane to a rehab centre and then issue a statement afterwards. A similar report appeared in the National Post.

Towhey’s firing comes amid reports of a video allegedly showing Ford smoking crack cocaine. CityNews hasn’t viewed the video and cannot verify its authenticity.

As he was being escorted out of city hall by security on Thursday afternoon, Towhey told reporters, “I am no longer the chief of staff. I did not resign.”

Towhey, who has held the position since August 2012, didn’t say why he lost his job but said it followed discussions earlier in the day with the mayor.

Ford issued a statement thanking Towhey for his “valuable contributions” but didn’t provide a reason for his dismissal which was effective immediately. Deputy chief of staff Earl Provost is now acting chief of staff.

Ford is expected to return to the airwaves on Sunday after he cancelled an episode of his weekly radio broadcast last week. Both Rob and Doug Ford are expected to host The City this weekend, CFRB said Thursday.

With files from Showwei Chu