My heart, and liver, go out to Chief Morley Googoo. The AFN’s regional supremo for Nova Scotia and Newfoundland faces charges of assault and disturbing the peace after a June 17 donnybrook at the Hampton Inn in Sydney.
“An unfortunate incident took place with hotel staff while I was in Sydney this past June, quoth Morley in a teasingly terse statement. “It was a regrettable situation that I plan to address later in July.”
While Frank looks forward to Morley’s elucidation of this regrettable misunderstanding (according to one source, a moist and garrulous melee with hotel security), I fear the debacle will put a damper on the discharge of his duties.
Chief Googoo’s release conditions include abstaining from alcohol, staying away from the hotel, the Membertou Convention Centre and the individual he is alleged to have assaulted and, most inconvenient of all, remaining in Nova Scotia.
So Morley will be unable to make the overseas toot to greet the Warriors of the Red Road, 25 indigenous yout’ sailing from Halifax to France in August.
Similarly, Googoo cannot go-go to the AFN’s annual general assembly clambake in Regina later this month. The rest of the AFN executive will huddle over the latest historic rapprochement between our peoples, the Assembly of First Nations – Canada Memorandum of Understanding On Joint Priorities, signed in Ottawa June 12 — just five days before Morley’s Unfortunate Incident.
Morley, it transpires, was right there in Sodom-on-the-Rideau, among the witnesses rounded up by National Chief Perry Bellegarde for the signing of this important agreement to have, er, more meetings.
Frank hopes Ottawa’s idyllic patio season didn’t contribute to the delinquency of our Morley, who’s been striving to imbibe lessly since an embarrassing May 2011 contretemps at another Sydney hotel bar, the Crown & Moose in the Delta Sydney.
As the court would hear in a later small claims action, Morley, in celebrating his then-new gig at the AFN, had managed to run up a $750 bar tab (including 35 shooters, several offered to neighbouring tables, and 60 bucks worth of food).
A good time was had by all, but at last call, it transpired he’d left his credit card at home. No problem, sez Morley, just charge it to my room — and add a 20 per cent tip.
Whoops. Morley had forgotten he was not actually a guest of the Delta that night. A quick trip to the front desk to check in also failed (still no credit card, and he puked on the lobby floor).
When Chief Googoo started musing about driving 90 minutes back home to Waycobah, another patron, Laurianne Stevens, stepped in and offered up her credit card to book him a room. When she got home, she called the hotel to make sure her card wasn’t charged for any ‘incidentals’ related to the chief’s sleepover. When the Delta nonetheless stuck her with Morley’s Brobdingnagian bar tab, she sued.
Stevens was awarded $968 for the bar tab, credit card interest and court costs.
Morley, untouched by the litigation, had nonetheless learned his lesson, telling the Halifax Chronically Horrid that he’d since given up the firewater: “You come to an age when you know better; enough is enough.”
And now this.