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article imageOttawa city councillor creates controversy over roadside stop

By Arthur Weinreb     May 29, 2013 in Technology
Ottawa - Councillor Peter Clark is accused of intimidating the police officer who stopped him after he left a strip club and who administered a roadside breath test to the veteran politician.
Although Clark apologized for having been drinking and driving and blowing in the warning range after a roadside test was administered, the 75-year-old veteran politician denied using his position at city hall to intimidate the officer who stopped him.
The incident occurred on May 7 after Clark and a friend participated in a bridge game at a seniors' centre in Gatineau and decided to stop off at The Playmate, a Montreal Road strip club, before going home.
After leaving the club, Clark was pulled over and admitted to drinking wine. Clark, who had been pumping his brakes to control his speed, said, "He [the police officer] said he pulled me over because he thought I was trying to pick up a hooker. Well, number one I didn't stop, I didn't open the window. I didn't wave at anybody. I don't know where he got that impression."
After admitting he had been drinking, the officer administered a roadside breathalyser test and Clark blew in the warning range meaning his blood alcohol level was between 50 and 80 milligrams. He was not charged with an offence but under Ontario law, his driver's license was administratively suspended for three days, his car was towed, and he was required to pay an administrative fee of $150 to get his license back.
According to the police report, Clark did not take the incident seriously. He told the officer he was an Ottawa city councillor and on two occasions said the city's police chief, Charles Bordeleau, was a "friend." The report went on to say he "was very condescending towards me and police in general stating that 'Ottawa police have been in the news a lot lately...and seemed to have a lot of troubled officers.'" The report also describes Clark as telling the officer, sarcastically, that he was doing a good job and he was going to tell the chief.
Clark denied attempting to use his position to influence the outcome of what was happening. He said he hardly knew Bordeleau and would never have described him as a friend. About his position on city council, Clark said he only told the officer he was a councillor after the cop asked him what he did for a living. Clark also said he was not trying to influence the officer and did not think it was possible to do so.
In an email, Clark wrote, "Although I was not charged with an offence, I deeply regret my behaviour and apologize to my constituents and council colleagues for any embarrassment this incident may have caused."
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