Whitby Deputy Mayor criticized for inappropriate comments at council meeting

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Published October 6, 2021 at 2:13 pm

Whitby Town Hall
Courtesy of the Town of Whitby

Whitby’s deputy mayor is taking heat over a hot mic comment about another councillor during Monday’s Council meeting.

Councillor Chris Leahy made the slip during a discussion about a new cricket field in Whitby. As Councillor Rhonda Mulcahy was about to speak on the issue, Leahy can be heard muttering, “Let’s hear what Big Rhonda has to say.”

Before beginning her address on the field, Mulcahy responded to the comment saying, “Yeah let’s hear what I have to say. Thanks, Councillor Leahy.”

Leahy apologized to Mulcahy privately the following day, an apology Mulcahy says was overdue and inauthentic.

In a statement, Leahy said, “I deeply regret the inappropriate comment that I made Monday night. I reached out to my colleague on council and offered a heartfelt & sincere apology. I am sorry for any pain that this has caused.”

Mulcahy says this speaks to a derisive culture in Whitby council, “This incident is not the first at Whitby Council. These actions are left to fester and are not resolved.”

Whitby Mayor Don Mitchell, said Wednesday he has spoken to all councillors about the incident.

“I asked for and received the wording from the livestream. The comment was personal, derogatory and inappropriate. I spoke with Councillor Leahy. He said he would call Councillor Mulcahy to apologize. I spoke later with Councillor Mulcahy. She said she had received the call but was not satisfied with the apology,” Mitchell said.

Mulcahy has contacted Whitby’s integrity commissioner to investigate.

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