TORONTO — A top aide Rob Ford fired as his smoldering crack-smoking scandal erupted in flames last year is rushing out an “unparalleled tell-all” book just days before the October municipal vote in which the embattled mayor is vying for re-election.
Until now, Mark Towhey has remained essentially silent about his life as chief of staff to Ford and the events that led to his abrupt dismissal, saying at one point that his line of work as a political aide demanded ongoing discretion.
Now, according to the publisher, Towhey is promising an “insider” account of working in the mayor’s office as Ford’s official life unravelled.
In its publicity material, Skyhorse Publishing said the book — referred to as both “Mayor Rob Ford: Behind the Scenes” or “Uncontrollable: My Life with Mayor Rob Ford” — recounts what it was like working with Ford, including managing a man who “rants and raves, and gets belligerent” in both meetings and at private events.
The litany of Ford’s highly publicized woes that have made him a household name in much of North America are well known. He was caught on camera apparently smoking crack cocaine. He was accused of groping a campaign rival. He was fired as a high school football coach. He admitted to using crack in a “drunken stupor.” He used profane language on live television and in rants caught on video.
Towhey, who began working with Ford during his election in 2010 and has a background in crisis management, quickly became part of his inner circle.
“In May 2013, Mark Towhey had a confidential conversation with Ford,” the Skyhorse blurb states.
“Thus far, the public only knows two words from that conversation: Towhey told Ford to ’get help.’ They also know what happened next, Towhey was fired.”
Nevertheless, this is not the account of a man “eager to get revenge,” according to the advertising material
Towhey, who hosts a radio talk show in Toronto, refused Wednesday to discuss the book, which carries as a subtitle “My Attempt to Help the Belligerent Mayor.”
“I can confirm there is a book,” Towhey told The Canadian Press in an email. “Right now, anything more, you’ll have to ask the publisher.”
Attempts to reach a Skyhorse publicist were not immediately successful and Ford himself had no immediate comment.
Ford, whom council stripped of most of his mayoral powers in light of his ongoing problems, ultimately stepped off the campaign trail and went into rehab for two months earlier this year. Polls suggest he remains a viable contender for re-election on Oct. 27.
According to the Skyhorse website, the book co-authored by freelance journalist Johanna Schneller, is due for release in both hardcover and digital format six days before the election — on Oct. 21 at a cost of US$24.99.
“This is a must-read for Canadians voting in the mayoral election, as well as fans of Ford — and his antics — all over the world,” the blurb says.