One of Rob Ford’s staunchest allies at city hall is defending his decision to step down from the mayor’s inner circle just hours after a judge’s ruling shook up city hall.

During an interview with CP24 on Tuesday, Coun. Giorgio Mammoliti denied claims that he is attempting to distance himself from the embattled mayor by giving up his seat on city hall’s executive committee, which is chaired by Ford.

Mammoliti said his “advisors” suggested he remove himself from the committee to freely focus on how to proceed after a judge ordered Ford out of office.

“Right now, I want to be able to make decisions with my colleagues … and to make sure nobody is putting any undue pressure on me,” Mammoliti said. “We will be making some difficult decisions over next two to three months and I want to be able to do it without being handcuffed.”

Despite the move, Mammoliti is vowing to continue to support the Ford administration and its agenda.

“It really is about making the right decision and moving forward at a very critical and crucial time,” Mammoliti said. “This is no longer about the mayor. Yesterday was about the mayor, today is about the city of Toronto and we need to move forward to make sure we’re making the right decisions for the city of Toronto.”

Mammoliti said city hall is in “crisis mode” because of the judge's ruling, and he warned the situation could be disastrous for the city if it drags on.

Mammoliti for mayor?

Meanwhile, there is plenty of speculation about potential candidates the next time Toronto voters choose a new mayor, be it in a byelection or the 2014 municipal election.

Mammoliti said it is too early for him to declare a run for city hall's top job, but he isn’t ruling one out.

“I may decide to throw my hat in the race eventually again, who knows what’s going to happen?” Mammoliti said.

Mammoliti entered the mayoral contest in 2010 but later withdrew to run for re-election as a city councillor.

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