Edmonds City Councilmember Adrienne Fraley-Monillas apologized to her fellow councilmembers and the mayor Wednesday after a video clip was circulated of her drinking wine during Tuesday night’s remote city council meeting.
The clip in question can be found at the 47:52 mark in this link to Tuesday night’s city council meeting. In it, she is seen on camera drinking from a glass of wine during a roll-call vote. Later, Fraley-Monillas left the virtual meeting. Her absence was noted by Council President Susan Paine, who reported that the councilmember was having dental issues and was unable to stay for the rest of the proceedings.
After a copy of the video was shared Wednesday morning, Fraley-Monillas sent an email to the council and mayor, stating she “was in an extreme amount of pain last night” due to an infection “that has gone from my jaw into my sinuses into my left eye.” The councilmember said she is scheduled to have surgery Thursday to address the issue.
In an interview with My Edmonds News Wednesday afternoon, Fraley-Monillas said she had a glass of wine with dinner prior to the remote meeting, and absent-mindedly took a sip of it during the vote, which was captured on camera.
“I don’t know what I was thinking,” the councilmember said, adding that her face was swollen and her lips were numb due to the infection.
Fraley Monillas said in her email message to the council that she “was trying to stay off screen last night (because I looked so absolutely horrible) but apparently I turned on the screen when I meant to turn on the volume.”
Fraley-Monillas said that some people have implied that she was drunk, but “that could not have been further from the truth,” she said, adding that she drank about half a glass of wine with dinner.
“I probably shouldn’t have tried to attend the meeting to begin with,” she said, noting that Council President Paine and Councilmember Vivian Olson — both of whom were aware of her health issue — encouraged her to rest instead.
“I apologize for the commotion this is going to cause,” she said in her email to the council and the mayor.
Fraley-Monillas has been on the Edmonds City Council since 2010, and is seeking re-election to her Position 3 council seat. She will face former City Councilmember Neil Tibbott on the November election ballot.
— By Teresa Wippel