Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Mayor apologizes on behalf of press secretary

Mayor Nutter this morning issued an apology to Daily News columnist Ronnie Polaneczky after she wrote a column questioning why his Press Secretary Mark McDonald wrote a tweet that appeared to question the ethics of her reporting on the Philadelphia Parking Authority.

Mayor apologizes on behalf of press secretary

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Mayor Nutter this morning issued an apology to Daily News columnist Ronnie Polaneczky after she wrote a column questioning why his Press Secretary Mark McDonald wrote a tweet that appeared to question the ethics of her reporting on the Philadelphia Parking Authority.

“I want to apologize to Ronnie, who I know, about what was sent out,” Nutter said. “It was inappropriate. I want to apologize directly and on behalf of our city government.”

In her column today, Polaneczky wrote that after a critical report on the Parking Authority, McDonald, who tweets as @PhillyPressSec, put up a tweet that said: “If reporter has let's say 150 agency violations, do you disclose that as you time after time pound said agency with your commentary?”

Polaneczky reports that she and her husband have incurred 215 tickets in the past 16 years, but that they are paid in full. Nutter today stressed that McDonald had not gotten access to any private parking records, but was just repeating rumor.

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Tweet was 'matter of ethics'

“It is not our policy to share or continue to move around rumors,” Nutter said. “I think it was a mistake. Mark is well aware of that.”

Nutter said that no further investigation or discipline was planned and that McDonald will remain in his position.

“Mark is a very hard working, committed public servant,” Nutter said. “Having the kind of conversation we had, will be punishment enough. He will continue to do his job.”

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William Bender, a Drexel graduate who landed at the Daily News in 2007, has covered everything from South Philly mobsters to doomsday hucksters. He occasionally writes about local food trucks and always eats everything on his plate, whether it be a bloody rib eye or a corrupt politician. E-mail tips to benderw@phillynews.com
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David Gambacorta, has been a reporter with the Daily News since 2005, covering crime, police corruption and all of the other bizarre things that happen in Philadelphia. Now he’s covering the 2015 mayor’s race, because he enjoys a good circus just as much as the next guy. He’s always looking to get a cup of coffee. Send news tips and other musings on life to gambacd@phillynews.com
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