Councillor Ana Bailao
Credits: ERNEST DOROSZUK/QMI AGENCY
Bailao gave a short statement to the media on Wednesday - one day after she was charged with impaired driving and having more than 80 mg of alcohol in 100 ml of blood.
"I want to be absolutely clear, these charges will in no way affect my ability to do the job I was elected to do," Bailao told reporters. "I intend to plead not guilty. I assure you that I am taking these charges very seriously and I will continue to co-operate with the legal process.
"As you can appreciate, this is still being investigated and is before the courts. There is a process to be followed and out of respect for that process, my lawyer has advised me not to comment."
Choking back tears, Bailao thanked her constituents, colleagues, family and friends who have called and e-mailed to show support.
"I am confident I will be able to demonstrate their faith in me is not misplaced," she said. "I will continue to focus on my work to improve public housing, create a world-class transit system and be a strong, strong voice for the interests of Ward 18 residents."
Several city councillors were in the press gallery for Bailao's statement including Doug Ford.
"Everyone makes mistakes and I'm confident that she is going to continue serving her constituents well," he said.
Asked if he's disappointed in Bailao, Ford shrugged.
"I look around the room here, I think we've all had a bad night," he said. "She had a bad night, she regrets it, she apologizes and I think it is time to move on now. I guess it is in the hands of the courts."
Fletcher called Bailao's charges a "very regrettable incident."
"I think that elected officials - city, province, federal - we get and we are required and invited to so many places where there is a lot of alcohol and I think this is a wake-up call for any elected official," she said. "We really are out in a lot of places, expected to have a great time but it is learning for everybody from this experience."