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Woman driving Ford’s SUV not in court for first appearance

Ivan Joseph Fournier, a licensed paralegal out of Hamilton, appeared in court on behalf of Ms. McRobb’s lawyer, Michael Rombis, in her stead. The accused was not required to attend court today, Mr. Fournier said.

JP Moczulski/The Globe and Mail

The woman who was arrested driving Mayor Rob Ford's Cadillac Escalade in Muskoka last month did not attend her first court appearance Tuesday but was represented by a paralegal.

Lee Anne McRobb, 36, is charged with impaired driving, operation of a vehicle with a blood alcohol level over 80 milligrams, and having open liquor in a vehicle.

Doug Ford, the mayor's brother and campaign manager, confirmed to The Globe last month that it was the mayor's SUV and that Ms. McRobb was driving it with permission at the time of her arrest. The mayor is in rehab for substance abuse at the GreeneStone residential addiction treatment facility in Muskoka, and has told the city clerk by letter that he will be returning to work on June 30.

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Ivan Joseph Fournier, a licensed paralegal out of Hamilton, appeared in court on behalf of Ms. McRobb's lawyer, Michael Rombis, in her stead. The accused was not required to attend court today, Mr. Fournier said.

Ms. McRobb may not appear at her next court date in August, either, he said.

How Ms. McRobb came to be behind the wheel of the mayor's vehicle is still a mystery. Another mystery that remains is who removed the plates from the SUV, before it made its way to an impound lot. The whereabouts of the plates only became clear on Tuesday.

"The plates were inside the car," Bob Hoolans, the owner of the tow truck company that impounded the mayor's Escalade, told the Globe.

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