The brother of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford said he’s “never heard of” the woman who was reportedly arrested for impaired driving behind the wheel of the mayor’s car earlier this week.
An Ontario Provincial Police statement said that 36-year-old Lee Anne McRobb of Muskoka Lakes Township is facing charges of impaired driving and driving with more than 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood after Bracebridge officers stopped her in a black Cadillac Escalade.
The OPP did not respond to requests for comment.
CP24 reported Wednesday that the car was the mayor’s SUV.
Whether – or how – Ms. McRobb knows Mr. Ford is unclear.
Councillor Doug Ford, the mayor’s brother and campaign manager, said Wednesday evening he had been trying unsuccessfully to reach the mayor and the mayor’s wife to confirm the news reports.
He said he did not know how the mayor’s car got to cottage country.
“Obviously, someone has his car,” he said. “I have never heard of this person. I don’t have a clue who they are … I don’t know what is going on.”
An employee at Northland Towing & Recovery in Gravenhurst confirmed that the company towed a black Escalade from the same intersection Tuesday, but said the licence plates had been removed from the car.
It’s been more than two weeks since two Globe and Mail reporters viewed footage of Toronto’s mayor smoking what is alleged to be crack cocaine at his sister’s home. The clip was one of three shot surreptitiously in Kathy Ford’s basement around 1:15 a.m. on April 26. There was no audio.
Immediately after the revelation of the video and an audio recording of the mayor obtained by the Toronto Sun in which he made homophobic and racist comments, Mr. Ford announced he was taking a temporary leave to get treatment for “a problem with alcohol.”
Mr. Ford initially flew to Chicago, but shortly after landing, he voluntarily returned to Canada. He was spotted in cottage country on Friday afternoon, and his brother Doug told media he was out of rehab for a few hours on a pass.
Reporters at Muskoka’s Moose FM reported that Ms. McRobb appeared at the towing shop Wednesday afternoon asking to retrieve some of her belongings from the vehicle.
During that incident, which the Moose FM reporters caught on video and posted online, a woman who says she was “arrested for drunk driving yesterday” tells a shop employee that she lost her watch, and that “I think it’s in Rob Ford’s room.” When pressed by the reporters, she says she’s “just kidding.”
Matt Sitler, one of the Moose FM reporters who saw the incident, told The Globe that the woman identified herself as “Leanne McRobb” when she walked into the shop. The mayor’s lawyer, Dennis Morris, said he was unaware of the reports concerning the mayor’s car or the woman’s arrest. “This is all news to me. I know nothing about it,” he said. “But I wouldn’t know why I should, because he’s not involved in any way,” he said – noting that the media reports say the mayor himself was not believed to have been in the vehicle at the time.
It’s been just more than a year since the mayor of Canada’s largest city faced the first allegations of drug use with the reports of a video by Gawker and the Toronto Star, allegedly showing him smoking the drug. Several months later, he admitted to having smoked crack cocaine in one of his “drunken stupors.”
With reports from Sean Tepper and Robyn Doolittle