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Sue Corke
Sue Corke

Deputy City Manager first senior official to leave under Ford: Did she quit? Add to ...

One of Toronto's top civil servants is leaving city hall and the cryptic memo bidding her farewell doesn't say why, The Globe and Mail has learned.

Deputy City Manager Sue Corke is the first senior official to leave the municipal government since Mayor Rob Ford's election last fall.

"With much regret, I am writing to inform you that Deputy City Manager Sue Corke will be leaving the Toronto Public Service, effective March 11, 2011," City Manager Joe Pennachetti wrote in a letter to the mayor, councillors and senior staff Monday.

The memo praises Ms. Corke, a six-year veteran of the municipal government, for her work overseeing a 10-year affordable housing plan, the Toronto Office of Partnerships and the priority neighbourhood strategy, which saw grants and social programs directed to 13 poor and poorly served pockets of the city.

"However, it is the establishment of 311 and championship of the e-services strategic plan that I believe best exemplifies her dedication and desire to enhance customer service at the City," Mr. Pennachetti writes in the memo, which was obtained by The Globe

Mayor Rob Ford has expressed reservations about the city's approach to affordable housing, its new 311 customer-service line and the priority neighbourhoods program, a project close to former mayor David Miller's heart.

The memo goes on to wish Ms. Corke the best in the future, but it doesn't say what that future might hold. It does not say whether or not Ms. Corke left voluntarily.

However, Mr. Pennachetti said in an interview that the decision was "mutual."

"Sue and I have mutually agreed at this time that she will be stepping down to pursue new challenges and opportunities," he said.

As one of three deputy city managers, Ms. Corke was nearly at the pinnacle of Toronto's civil service. Only Mr. Pennachetti is more senior. Ms. Corke worked in the provincial civil service for 24 years before joining the city in 2005.

Calls to Ms. Corke's office seeking comment were not immediately returned.

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