Edmonds councilmember drinks wine during meeting, apologizes

Adrienne Fraley-Monillas said it was an absent-minded decision to grab her wine glass from dinner.

EDMONDS — Edmonds City Councilwoman Adrienne Fraley-Monillas apologized this week for drinking alcohol during a council meeting.

Fraley-Monillas spent most of Tuesday night’s virtual council meeting with her camera off. When she was visible, she covered half of her face with her hand, and sometimes had trouble speaking for votes. For a moment, she was seen drinking a glass of wine.

Later on, Council President Susan Paine said Fraley-Monillas would miss the rest of the meeting due to a dental issue.

In an email to Mayor Mike Nelson and other council members, Fraley-Monillas said her camera was off because she was in an extreme amount of pain from an infection that went from her jaw to her sinuses to her left eye.

“I probably shouldn’t have tried to attend the meeting to begin with,” she said. “I apologize for the commotion this is going to cause and I definitely looked awful with my face half swollen.”

On Friday, she said drinking the wine was an absent-minded decision, adding it was a glass of merlot she had with her dinner, a beef stroganoff, which she slowly ate during the meeting.

“Normally, I would have never done that,” she said.

On Wednesday, a post on the conservative Facebook page Concerned Taxpayers of Snohomish County showed screenshots of the meeting in which Fraley-Monillas is seen holding the wine glass.

The post called on Fraley-Monillas to resign and accused her of being drunk.

“That could not be further from the truth,” she wrote in her email to Nelson and the council.

Before the council meeting, Fraley-Monillas had told Paine and Councilwoman Vivian Olson about her illness. They both said she could skip the meeting if the pain was too much, but Fraley-Monillas attended anyway, saying she wanted to take part in discussions on Highway 99 and the city’s tree code.

“I’m an overworker, sometimes,” she said. “I’m really passionate about those issues. This is important stuff, I want to make sure I’m there for it.”

But when the meeting started, she said the Tylenol she took couldn’t control the pain and continued feeling unwell.

That’s why she was wearing a tank top and didn’t do her hair, she added.

“I looked like I was in a fight and I lost the fight,” she said. “I should’ve just skipped the meeting.”

Fraley-Monillas has been on the council since 2010.

In November, she’ll face former Councilman Neil Tibbott in the general election for another four-year term.

Joey Thompson: 425-339-3449; jthompson@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @byjoeythompson.

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