Commissioner to plead guilty for impaired driving
Published Thursday, September 3, 2009 2:31PM PDT
The Vancouver Park Board commissioner who drove her car into a south Vancouver home this spring is expected to plead guilty to impaired driving charges later this month.
The lawyer for Constance Barnes, Natalie Dunbar, told ctvbc.ca her client will appear in Vancouver provincial court September 24 for sentencing.
Barnes confessed in June to making a "really stupid mistake" after falling asleep at the wheel and driving into the home on Ross Street. No one was injured but the home was badly damaged in the crash.
"While I do not in any way excuse my serious mistake, this incident follows a time of deep personal struggle," she said.
The single mother took medical leave from the board and checked into the Orchard Recovery Centre on Bowen Island shortly after.
In a move that netted criticism from political bloggers and opposition park board members, Barnes borrowed $3,000 from the city to pay for her $18,900 42-day treatment.
"Since this whole drunk driving issue happened she's been very inconsistent and not transparent with the taxpayers of Vancouver," said park board commissioner Ian Robertson.
Barnes has maintained the tax-free loan, offered as part of a disability assistance program for municipal workers, would be garnished from her $8,000-a year stipend as park board commissioner.
Barnes is the daughter of the late Emery Barnes, one of the first black men elected to the B.C. legislature.