By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator, Saturday March 24, 2012
There’s nothing funny about Peggygate
You needed a cast-iron stomach not to have felt a little queasy watching Mayor Bob Bratina’s handling of the renewed Peggygate scandal the other day.
While senior staffers looked all but green around the gills and councillors exchanged significant glances, Bratina continued to dig a deeper hole for himself, even while labouring under the shadow of an official reprimand from council.
His disordered explanation for why he demanded an investigation with “signed affidavits” to track down the source of rumours that Peggy Chapman, his chief of staff, was on the sunshine list wasn’t the worst of it.
Neither was his unsettling backflip on a quote from Councillor Sam Merulla dealing with the controversy that appeared in The Spectator.
Bratina called the quote “useless” in his now infamous acid-laced email to senior Spec managers.
But during the meeting he told puzzled councillors he agreed with Merulla that these controversies are distracting council from more serious business.
No, the worst part of the shaky performance was his stubborn refusal to face up to stark facts.
Bratina told councillors I’d quoted his email out of context when I wrote in Wednesday’s column that he was once again blaming the $30,000 raise to Chapman on human resources rather than taking responsibility for it himself, the very thing that landed him in boiling pitch last December. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)