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.

“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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