A shaken-looking Bailão says she will plead not guilty, will keep focusing on her work.
Today Ana Bailão (Ward 18, Davenport) provided a more detailed responded to news that she faces impaired-driving charges. Bailão was pulled over at about 1:45 a.m. Tuesday morning, after an officer noticed her driving without headlights near Bathurst and Harbord.
Voice wavering, Bailão started by saying: “Today I want to be absolutely clear: these charges will in no way affect my ability to do the job I was elected to do. I intend to plead not guilty.” She then contined: “I assure you that I am taking these charges very seriously and I will continue to cooperate with the legal process.”
Declining to comment on the specifics of the case on the advice of her lawyer, Bailão thanked her colleagues and constituents for their support, and reiterated that her focus would continue to be on the files she’s been working on since elected. Key among those is community housing—councillors will debate a report she’s prepared on dealing with a major repair backlog in a few weeks.
Indeed, her colleagues came out in force to support her: Bailão was flanked by everyone from Ford favourite Frances Nunziata (Ward 11, York South-Weston) to longstanding left-leaning councillor Pam McConnell (Ward 28, Toronto Centre-Rosedale) at the press conference today. Nunziata took the mic for a moment to say that Bailão “is an amazing councillor; she works hard for her constituents” and Doug Ford later told reporters: “we’ve all had a bad night. She regrets it; she’s apologized.”
That isn’t quite accurate: Bailão hasn’t actually apologized, presumably also on the advice of her lawyer—an apology can be interpreted in court as an admission of liability. Many of her constituents and many in Toronto more generally are calling on her to do just that, however.
Bailão is scheduled to appear in court on December 3.