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Scanlon's past includes conviction for driving while ability impaired

South Council Member Christopher P. Scanlon was convicted five years ago for driving while ability impaired, according to court records.

The court records reviewed by The Buffalo News did not provide any further detail about the circumstances of the arrest or conviction, but Scanlon, who was appointed May 16 to fill the vacancy for the South District seat, said the case "was knocked down to a violation."

"I just made a really poor choice, and I've learned from it," Scanlon, 30, said Thursday. "Nothing like that's ever going to be an issue ever again."

For almost seven years before he got the appointment, Scanlon was a bartender and assistant manager for the Western New York Pub Group, according to his resume. That business operates Colter Bay Grill on Delaware Avenue and W.J. Morrissey's Irish Pub on Mississippi Street.

Scanlon said the arrest happened after "a long day" at work. He said he stayed after his shift ended to have "a couple beers" and got pulled over on the way home.

The lawmaker said the public has the right to know about it, but he does not believe it affects his ability to hold the office.

The Democrat said he "was young" and "made a mistake."

The court records indicate Scanlon was fined $300. He also was sent to driving school.

Scanlon was appointed to the South District seat by a 5-3 vote.

Council President Richard A. Fontana, one of the five who voted for Scanlon, said he did not know about his conviction before being told about it by a reporter.

Fontana pointed out that Scanlon is now married and owns a home in South Buffalo, which are signs he's "very responsible."

It shows how people grow in this world, Fontana said.

The Council president said he has been working closely with Scanlon since his appointment.

"He's very, very professional and very, very receptive to any type of instruction," Fontana said.