Toronto police officers helped Rob Ford on "multiple occasions" after stopping his vehicle while he was still mayor, rather than charge him with driving impaired, his former chief of staff says.
The allegation emerged Saturday in an excerpt from a soon to-be-released book by Mark Towhey titled Mayor Rob Ford: Uncontrollable.
"Two senior members of the Toronto Police Service had told me officers had pulled over the mayor's car late at night on multiple occasions and driven him home rather than charging him for driving under the influence," Towhey wrote in the excerpt published at Politico.com.
Towhey does not reveal the identity of the two officers.
Towhey also details an incident in which a former Ford staffer, Chris Fickel, is being driven by the mayor in his black Cadillac Escalade.
Ford stopped the vehicle briefly, at which point Fickel saw him chug a 12-ounce bottle of vodka in about two minutes, Towhey wrote.
"Chris was shocked. He asked the mayor to let him out at the next corner; he said he wanted to catch the bus. Chris had never told anyone, he said, because he didn't want to get fired or get the mayor in trouble," Towhey wrote.
Towhey added he made it a policy the morning after he heard about the incident that no staffers ride in a vehicle operated by Ford.
According to Towhey, when he told Ford that he had heard from people who said they saw him drinking and driving, the mayor first wanted to know who was accusing him of driving drunk. Towhey said he wouldn't reveal who, and informed Ford of his new policy.
That's when the mayor "exploded," Towhey wrote.
Ford denied that he was driving drunk, saying Towhey was accusing him of being a criminal and dared him to call the police, according to Towhey.
Ford went on to say that he couldn't believe his chief of staff was accusing him of drunk driving and dared him to prove it, Towhey wrote.
But Towhey did not report Fickel's story to the police.
"It was hearsay, and it was too late," Towhey wrote.
"I'd arrested two drunk drivers in my life, and I knew it was essential to witness the act of driving and to have continuity of evidence through to a blood alcohol test establishing the driver over the legal limit. That didn't exist weeks after the fact. There was nothing the police could do with the information. Besides, as I mentioned, they already knew the mayor was driving drunk, and weren't doing anything about it."
CBC News has not been able to independently verify the accounts laid out in the excerpt.
"We do not respond to unsubstantiated third-hand gossip," said Toronto police spokesman Mark Pugash when asked about the latest Towhey excerpt.
Ford's current chief of staff, Dan Jacobs, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.