Aide Says His Wife, Mayor Had Affair
Jan. 31 - KGO (KGO) -- San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom is facing the biggest crisis of his political life. A top aide resigns, complaining that the mayor had an affair with his wife.
We've been hearing rumors about the affair for about six months, and we've been hearing reports throughout the day of problems with a female member of Newsom's staff. But tonight those complaints became public.
Mayor Gavin Newsom did not address the controversy tonight at a count of the city's homeless.
The first word of trouble came when the campaign manager for his re-election, Alex Tourk, made the announcement: "It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the Newsom campaign and the city of San Francisco and its residents. However, for personal reasons, I must resign my position."
Supervisor Chris Daly knows Alex Tourk well.
Chris Daly, San Francisco Supervisor: "Even though I found myself on opposite sides of the aisle, I have a great deal of respect for Alex Tourk, and there's no denying he has made significant contributions here in San Francisco. I hope Alex Tourk can weather this, and I hope Alex Tourk continues to contribute here in San Francisco."
SFGate.com reports tonight that Tourk resigned after he confronted Gavin Newsom about an affair with his wife.
Ruby Tourk, the mayor's appointment secretary until this past spring, appeared in October on "The View from the Bay."
SFGate.com reports that her affair with Newsom took place while the mayor was going through his divorce from Kimberly Guilfoyle-Newsom and that Ruby Tourk told her husband about the affair as part of her drug rehabilitation program.
Tonight, Newsom told the newspaper, "I'm not making any public comment, I'm just not."
A virtual interview that Newsom did while in Davos, Switzerland takes on new meaning. He spoke with the Second Life News Center, using avatars, or moving cartoons.
Mayor Gavin Newsom: "I've basically written myself off any prospects of running for any different office. I certainly won't be appointed by any administration or special councils because I'm a time bomb and I'm too controversial."
Tonight, Gavin Newsom's most vocal critic on the Board of Supervisors, Chris Daly, would not comment on Newsom's political future, focusing instead on the personal toll of this controversy.
Chris Daly, San Francisco Supervisor: "I've been colleagues of Alex Tourk's when he was deputy chief of staff. He did a lot of engaging with members of the board. I've seen him socially and he has a kid the same age as my kid. This is tough."
We called Alex Tourk, Mayor Newsom and the mayor's press secretary Peter Ragone and left messages tonight. None of them has called back. We'll be following this story in the morning.
Mrs. Ruby Tourk appeared on ABC7's The View from the Bay on October 13, 2006 on a segment about celebrity designer handbags. You can watch the video here.
Below is the full text of the press release from the mayor's office concerning Alex Tourk's resignation:
The Gavin Newsom for Mayor campaign today announced the resignation of Campaign Manager Alex Tourk.
Tourk said, "It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the Newsom campaigns and the City of San Francisco and its residents. However, for personal reasons, I must resign my position as Campaign Manager of the Mayor's re-election campaign. I am honored that, as Deputy Chief of Staff, I helped create and implement key policy initiatives such as the Homeless Connect program that is now a national model for its compassionate and comprehensive approach to helping the homeless."
Mayor Gavin Newsom said, "It is with great sadness that we accept Alex's resignation. He has been an extraordinary leader of our campaigns and a tireless public servant. He was instrumental in my first election, organizing a strong early re-election effort and shaping successful policy during his service with the City and County of San Francisco. We all wish Alex well and know he will be successful in all of his future endeavors."
Senior Campaign Strategist Eric Jaye said, "We wish our friend and colleague Alex Tourk all the very best. The campaign moves forward, but he will certainly be missed."
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