The Muskoka-area woman charged with impaired driving while behind the wheel of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s luxury SUV had permission to use the vehicle from the registered owner, police said Thursday.
According to Ontario Provincial Police Const. Jessica Drake, Lee Anne McRobb was arrested on Tuesday, shortly after 2:35 p.m. ET, after a concerned citizen called police to report a black Cadillac Escalade SUV being driven erratically.
“It was found out by the officer that [McRobb] did have authority from the registered owners to drive” the vehicle, Drake said. She would not comment on the identity of the owner.
The SUV is registered to DECO Labels & Tags, the company owned by Rob Ford’s family, CBC News learned Thursday. It is currently being held at a Gravenhurst impound lot, where it will remain for at least seven days in accordance with Ontario’s impaired driving laws.
The SUV in the compound is missing its licence plates.
Drake confirmed to CBC News that the licence plates were on the Escalade when the officer detained McRobb, and that OPP “definitely did not remove them.”
The owner of the impound lot insisted Thursday that the SUV arrived without plates. It remains unclear who removed the plates or exactly when they were removed.
In a video posted to YouTube by local radio news station Moose FM on Wednesday, McRobb claims that she had met Ford in rehab, but she refused to elaborate further on the relationship between herself and the Toronto mayor.
McRobb can also be heard telling an employee at the impound lot that she left her watch in Ford’s room at the facility.
When asked on the video how she wound up behind the wheel of Ford’s SUV, McRobb replied, “That’s for me to know.”
CBC News has been told that McRobb was discharged from a nearby rehabilitation facility six days before the incident occurred.
Thursday morning, Ford's lawyer, Dennis Morris, told CP24 that he has "no idea" who McRobb is or how she may be connected to the Toronto mayor.
Counc. Doug Ford denied knowing McRobb in multiple media reports on Wednesday.
The CEO of the rehab centre where Ford is currently undergoing addiction treatment said Wednesday that the mayor is indeed still in the program, and has only left the facility once in the past week for a supervised trip to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.