Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s office takes another hit with resignation of press secretaries

[ This story was UPDATED at 4 p.m. ET ]

The latest missile to hit Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's office may have been one he fired himself.

Ford's press secretary George Christopoulos and deputy press secretary Isaac Ransom resigned from their positions on Monday amid a thickening controversy into how the mayor has handled allegations he was videotaped smoking from a crack pipe.

"The Mayor thanks both George and Isaac for their valuable contributions and wishes them the best in their future endeavours," reads a statement on the resignation released on Monday.

The resignations come one day after Ford called reporters "a bunch of maggots" on his radio show and three days after he finally addressed the alleged video with a statement that may not have had much input from his communications department.


Various media reports suggest the pair quit "on principle," with the Toronto Star suggesting the resignation was connected to a statement Ford gave last week, in which he said, "I do not smoke crack cocaine, nor am I addicted to crack cocaine."

[ Related: Report ties alleged Rob Ford crack video to murder investigation]

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and his former press secretary George Christopoulos.Adrienne Batra, a former press secretary for Ford who now writes for the Toronto Sun, reported that the Ford family wrote the statement "with only a sprinkling of staff input."

With the Rob Ford crack video controversy only getting worse, Ford chose to make up his own public relations strategy, which included viscerally attacking the media.

Is there any question why those tasked with dealing with reporters and handling public relations would grow frustrated at being ignored?

The resignations follow last week's sudden firing of chief of staff Mark Towhey, who had reportedly urged Ford to go to rehab.

Towhey tweeted his respect for Christopoulos and Ransom following the announcement.

Shortly after announcing the resignations of Christopoulos and Ransom, Ford spoke to media and apologized for his "maggots" comment.

"This has been a very stressful week for myself and my family. But that doesn't justify using the terminology I did. I sincerely apologize for using the words that I did," Ford said. He then wished the pair the best of luck, but refused to comment on why they chose to quit.

"Besides that it is business as usual. We are soldiering on," he said, adding that senior staffer Amin Massoudi would move from Coun. Doug Ford's office to help in the mayor's communications department.

But every cloud has a silver lining.The latest resignations means there are more positions that could be filled by Ford's football buddies.

[ More Brew: Full coverage of Rob Ford ]

The Star reports that J.C. Hasko has been hired to work in the mayor's office. Hasko, who started his job on May 13,was a former star on Ford's high school football team, the Don Bosco Eagles, in 2009. He moved on to the Toronto Varsity Blues in 2010.

As the Star reports, he wasn't the first person with a football connection to Ford has been hired in the Mayor's Office. Andrew Gillis, a former U of T quarterback, was previously a special assistant and Michael Prempeh, another special assistant, also played for the U of T football team.

There have also been mayor's assistants who have helped coach football teams. And David Price, another recent hire, has described himself as Ford's former football coach.

Price was also named in a Globe and Mail report alleging Doug Ford was a high-level hashish dealer in the 1980s. Doug Ford has denied the allegations.

The latest whirlwind in city hall comes after a senior Ford staffer was interviewed by homicide detectives related to a tip connecting the alleged video with a recent homicide.

"Everything is fine. I have no idea what the police are investigating," Rob Ford said on the issue.