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Toronto First day on the job for Mayor Ford’s new chief of staff

Dan Jacobs, Mayor Rob Ford's new chief of staff appears before media at Toronto City Hall on Nov. 20, 2013.

Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail

Mayor Rob Ford's new chief of staff, Dan Jacobs, faced reporters for the first time Wednesday morning.

Mr. Jacobs is one of nine staff to stay in the mayor's office – a group that does not include David Price, Mr. Ford's controversial director of operations and logistics who a Globe and Mail investigation revealed allegedly dealt hashish with the mayor's brother Doug Ford in the 1980s. Mr. Price also recently made headlines after an outburst at a GO Train station and for making calls under assumed names to the mayor's radio show.

Mr. Jacobs would not comment on Mr. Price's status, but a City Hall source confirmed he has cleaned out his office and was not offered a spot with either Mr. Ford or with the newly expanded office of the deputy mayor.

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All other staff in the mayor's office besides Mr. Price were given the option of moving to the newly expanded office of Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly or staying with Mr. Ford. All of the mayor's senior advisers, including his chief of staff, deputy chief of staff and director of policy, made the move.

After being absent from City Hall for most of the day, Mr. Ford arrived at his office Tuesday to find the locks being changed on the staff area for the mayor's office and his staff of 20 cut by more than half. He then made counter offers to some staff in a bid to keep them, sources say.

Mr. Jacobs said it was his decision to continue to work for Mr. Ford, who he said remains an "active member of council."

"He is still the mayor of Toronto, that's all there is to it," he said when asked if Mr. Ford is a mayor in name only following a council vote Monday that stripped him of most of his powers, cut his staff and office budget and removed him as chair of the city's powerful executive committee.

"I don't see it as a reduction," he said. "The mayor has always focused on customer service, making sure he is helping people on an individual basis."

Mr. Jacobs joined the mayor's office in June, one of several new-hires to fill the vacancies created by an exodus of staff after allegations first surfaced that Mr. Ford had been caught on video smoking crack cocaine – something he recently confirmed after denying it for months.

Mr. Jacobs was a producer of the recently-canceled weekly radio show hosted by Mr. Ford and his brother and runs his own DJ business.

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"I didn't come into this job looking for a political role," he said. "I came into an office and came in with a mayor that I thought at a grassroots level was taking the time to respond to hundreds of e-mails and phone calls a day and really help people out on an individual basis. I continue to look forward to working with the mayor, his staff and the City of Toronto and the people of Toronto to help them with their issues."

Following late-day discussions Tuesday, the mayor's staff now includes Mr. Jacobs along with spokesman Amin Massoudi, long-time staffer Tom Beyer, driver Jerry Agyemang and events manager Victoria Colussi. Four special assistants also remain: Jonathan Kent, J.C. Hasko, Christine Maydossian and Judith Williams.

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