Michael J. Fox, who played Mike Flaherty, left in order to spend more time with his family as well as to concentrate on lobbying for further Parksinson's research. In terms of the storyline, it was revealed that a boyfriend of Nikki's had ties to organized crime. This boyfriend had also been seen in public as well as in photographs with the Mayor. In order to save the Mayor's career, Mike takes the blame for the Mayor's association with a known mobster. He resigns his position and moves to Washington D.C. to work as a lobbyist.