Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

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

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.”

About this blog
Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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Sean Collins Walsh is from Bucks County and went to Northwestern University. He joined the Daily News copy desk in 2012 and now covers the Nutter administration. Before that, he interned at papers including The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News and The Seattle Times. E-mail tips to walshSE@phillynews.com
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