A media report that claims a Vancouver-area pub served drinks to Rob Ford after closing hours has perked up the ears of the mayor of the local municipality.
Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart said allegations in a story by the Toronto Star that drinks were served to his Toronto counterpart after the 2 a.m. cutoff set by his city could be taken up by local police and provincial liquor authorities, who he says ensure the last-call rule is followed.
“I imagine both those groups would be interested in knowing more about this allegation,” he said Saturday.
The Toronto Star quotes an unidentified witness as saying Ford went into a tiny staff washroom at the Foggy Dew pub in Coquitlam last weekend only to emerge more than an hour later “talking gibberish” and appearing impaired.
The witness told the newspaper that it took some time before Ford was able to speak to restaurant staff coherently and says he then ordered rounds of beers, rum-and-cokes and shots with three people after the pub was closed and patrons cleared out.
While Stewart said he couldn’t comment on the matter further, he did add that he’d be surprised if a local bar or pub poured drinks after hours because he hasn’t heard of it happening in the municipality.
The Star said it was unable to independently verify the source’s allegations that Ford consumed alcohol at the Foggy Dew.
Foggy Dew owner John Teti declined to answer questions about what happened at the pub that night.
“I have no comment about even if Mr. Ford was on the premises. I wouldn’t know the man if he fell on me,” Teti said in an interview with The Canadian Press.
Teti said he also could not discuss the Star report due to concerns the pub may be investigated by liquor authorities.
“That’s why I have no comment. It’s like a judicial review, I have no comment.”
A spokesman for B.C.’s Justice Ministry, which oversees the liquor control branch, said Saturday the report was being looked into
Ford – who had vowed last year that he had given up alcohol – admitted he was drinking in an incident caught on video last month at a Toronto restaurant called Steak Queen and called it a “minor setback.”
The clip posted anonymously to YouTube shows Ford using Jamaican swear words and other profanities, at one point aiming his curses at Toronto’s police chief.
The Star said it asked Ford this week about his behaviour at the Foggy Dew, after it was closed for the evening, but said the mayor did not respond to the questions.
Ford’s spokesman has not responded to emails on Saturday requesting comment on the Toronto Star report.
The Star said the alleged incident took place in the wee hours of Feb. 1, between midnight and 3 a.m. – hours after Ford was ticketed by the RCMP for jaywalking.
The newspaper report says Ford went into a single-toilet bathroom used by male staff and did not emerge for more than an hour.
When Ford emerged shortly after 2 a.m., he was “talking gibberish in what sounded like another language,” scratching his chest and the back of his neck and making “weird twitch-like movements non-stop with his hands,” the Star quotes the eyewitness as saying.
The newspaper said the source did not want to be identified fearing there could be consequences for speaking out.
A few hours before the alleged incident at the Foggy Dew, Ford received the jaywalking ticket but has said he believes police singled him out for the offence.