The mayor's office has released the names of four new staffers hastily hired to replace the slew of employees who left in the wake of Rob Ford's ongoing drug scandal.
Five members of Ford's team quit between May 27 and 31, after the mayor fired his chief of staff, Mark Towhey, the week before.
On his radio show Sunday, Ford announced that he had hired four people, but at the time only one, Katrina Xavier Ponniah, had been named. Late Monday, the mayor's office directory was updated to include the names of three more: Jonathan Kent, Rob Krauss, and Victoria Colussi.
Xavier Ponniah is a recent graduate of Mount Allison University, where she majored in political science and economics. As of last week she was working as a hostess at Jacob's Steakhouse, a high-end restaurant on Brant Street. According to her LinkedIn profile, she interned at the Nathan Sritharan Law Office in Scarborough last summer.
Krauss is a former assistant to Councillor Doug Ford, the mayor's brother. He joined Doug's office in November, and his LinkedIn profile lists his duties as constituency work and "research" for the radio show the councillor co-hosts with the mayor.
Krauss is the second member of Councillor Ford's office to transition to the mayor's team since Gawker broke the news nearly three weeks ago of a cell phone video purportedly showing the mayor smoking crack cocaine. Amin Massoudi, Doug's former executive assistant, is now Rob's special assistant for communications.
Colussi graduated from McMaster University last year with a degree in theatre and film, and holds a postgraduate certificate in broadcast journalism from Seneca College. She lists her most recent job as an office coordinator at the college.
According to a LinkedIn profile that has since been deleted, Kent had been working as a financial security advisor at Desjardins before landing the job at City Hall. The profile shows that he attended three post-secondary schools in seven years - the University of Western Ontario, York University, and D'Youville College in Buffalo - but does not list any degrees.
Aside from the new hires, Tom Beyer, formerly a special assistant, has been promoted to Rob Ford's executive assistant. The mayor's former EA, Kia Nejatian, quit last Thursday.
All four of the new employees are described as special assistants on the mayor's roster. But when Ford arrived at City Hall Monday morning and a waiting reporter asked which positions had been filled, he said "taxpayers' positions." He also said he would be conducting more interviews later in the day.
At a Friday press conference at which he said only three people had been hired, he described the new employees as "movers and shakers, people that wanna come here and want to work hard."
None of the relatively inexperienced new employees will replace the senior staffers Ford has lost in the past two weeks, however. Earl Provost, a long-serving deputy, continues to serve as acting chief of staff following Towhey's departure. A new press secretary has also not been hired to replace George Christopoulos, although Sunny Petrujkic, the mayor's former policy advisor, is taking on the role on an interim basis.
Ford was seen giving a brief speech to the four new workers in his glass-walled administration offices early Monday afternoon.
When Kent, Xavier Ponniah, and Colussi left City Hall for the day, they refused to speak to reporters, directing any questions to Petrujkic.
With a file from Jonathan Goldsbie.