News

Mayor May Have Contravened Code of Conduct in Stolen Media Interview

By RTH Staff
Published June 26, 2008

In a statement late yesterday afternoon, Mayor Fred Eisenberger announced that a taped conversation with a member of the media was stolen from his office and stated that he believes he has "contravened the Council's Code of Conduct."

The message, a conversation between the Mayor and Hamilton Spectator columnist Andrew Dreschel from May 2007, concerned the reorganization of the department of planning and economic development and the council decision to replace general manager Lee Ann Coveyduck with Tim McCabe.

Eisenberger claims he was answering questions from Dreschel "off the record" about the context in which the decision was made, but now feels that he may have leaked confidential information from the in camera council session inadvertently.

The interview was taped by Eisenberger's former media advisor. Now Eisenberger believes the tape was stolen from his office and circulated to other media outlets (Raise the Hammer does not have a copy of the tape).

He added that he does not suspect anyone currently working in his office or anyone at the Spectator.

Eisenberger has provided a transcript of the tape to the city soliciter and asked council to investigate his actions and decide whether and how to respond. "I take full responsibility and encourage staff and Council to recommend appropriate remedy or action as required."

He also stated that he will ask the police to investigate the suspected theft.

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By cya (anonymous) | Posted June 26, 2008 at 12:26:59

Smart move. If someone's got dirt on you, better to go public yourself than get caught trying to cover it up.

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By Later (anonymous) | Posted June 26, 2008 at 16:39:47

cya-->Smart move. If someone's got dirt on you, better to go public yourself than get caught trying to cover it up.

Even if it is a year late and you only fessed up when you knew the story was out in the community! That isn't a smart move, that is a desperate attempt to change the channel.

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By Broker (anonymous) | Posted June 27, 2008 at 12:05:37

Where is the indignation at Fred's hypocrisy? RTH condemns those it disagrees with and writes this 'pap'. What do you mean "Mayor May Have Contravened..."? Fred himself said he DID contravene. And yet you soft peddle this. Why?

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By TMAN (anonymous) | Posted June 27, 2008 at 12:41:33

Seems that RTH gives it's political partners an easy ride. Had this been DiIanni, they would be calling for a public execution.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted June 27, 2008 at 12:59:37

this comment has been updated

Broker, TMAN,

It's a little premature to take a position on this incident. The fact is that we don't know what's on the tape. The mayor said he believes he contravened the code of conduct. He turned in a transcript of his interview to the city solicitor and asked council to investigate his actions and decide how to proceed. As more information comes to light, I'm sure everyone will have a better idea of what to think about it.

And TMAN - all hyperbole aside, we never called for Di Ianni's execution, but only for him to be held accountable to the law after council voted not to investigate his alleged campaign finance violations.

Since Eisenberger broke this news himself and asked the city to hold him accountable - whether for principled or tactical reasons - there's not really much else to say at this point, other than to speculate blindly about a) who might have leaked the tape and b) to what purpose.

Update (June 28, 2008): This comment originally read in part that Larry Di Ianni "denied any wrongdoing" about his campaign finance violations. Mr. Di Ianni contacted me to set the record straight: he never denied any wrongdoing, but rather hired an accountant to examine his records after the funding irregularities were reported, and then disclosed the information he recieved. My original statement was inaccurate and sloppy. I regret the error, and appreciate Mr Di Ianni giving me an opportunity to set the record straight.

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By Balance (anonymous) | Posted June 27, 2008 at 14:37:52

Doesn't really matter, he'll be done this term anyways, he's totally ineffective regardless as is his team of office staff. Just a flash in the pan.

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By jason (registered) | Posted June 27, 2008 at 17:08:43

I wouldn't say that Balance. By the time his first term is up, we could very well see construction taking place on Hamilton LRT lines. That alone is a bigger accomplishment than the previous 20 years of mayors combined. Toss in hundreds of millions in downtown development that is taking place, the new Braley medical centre downtown, tons of new hotel proposals and possibly Canada's tallest condo tower...or hopefully, at least a renovated Connaught. Toss in an integrity commissioner and more waterfront development and you're looking at a darn good term.

Not to mention, someone who's up front like this about their mistakes. It's pointless to wonder about how RTH would have covered this with previous mayors becuase they wouldn't have come forward on their own in the first place.

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By Baystreeter (anonymous) | Posted June 28, 2008 at 19:42:25

Jason, you are so full of crap...as if any of the things you list are Fred's doing...even the integrity commissioner took him two years to do; and the first one caught in an integrity issue is, you guessed it, Fred!

And if you think that in the next two years LRT is going to be more than talked about, you are not only full of it, but are also a dreamer.

Wake up and smell the coffee..as the Spec asked with a picutre of sad sack Fred, "Is this the look of leadership?" The answer is NO!

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By jason (registered) | Posted June 28, 2008 at 22:39:46

oh brother....as if I care about what some fashion stiff from Toronto thinks of the outfit he wore for his news conference. The Spec should be ashamed of themselves for even printing that crap. Let the 'fashion' expert go back to their plastic surgery doctor for another touch-up and leave the leadership critique for those who actually have some substance to their ideas as opposed to mere vanity.

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By jason (registered) | Posted June 28, 2008 at 22:41:33

oh, and by the way, I'm not sure where you get off saying I'm full of crap. I'm merely repeating SOME of a decent list of projects that are underway or getting off the ground under the current leadership of Mayor Fred. Doesn't mean he's perfect, or that I'll vote for him again. I have no clue. We'll decide that in a couple years, but you can't call someone 'crap' for simply stating the obvious.

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By Baystreeter (anonymous) | Posted June 29, 2008 at 10:35:45

Jason, you do state the obvious! The obvious spin that is.

As I said, wake up and smell the coffee. We have a leadership vacuum at city hall and it isn't just Fred, he's the most obvious.

Look at the spoiler role Bratina and Mchattie played on the Lister.

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By trey2 (anonymous) | Posted June 29, 2008 at 13:35:01

Brad Clark for next mayor.....

This so-called 'integrity commissioner' reminds of the Ministry of Secrecy in the USSR. The coverups, backrooms and media is bad enough in this city, the ONLY thing we have is whistle-blowers, shutting them up with put a bigger cloud of secrecy over everything.

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By Fox40 (anonymous) | Posted June 29, 2008 at 20:50:14

I'm all for REAL whistle-blowers, who go to the press with their information (even if they hide their own anonymity). But that's not what Clark did. He passed it around to a few people that he thought would be happy to make Fred look bad. That's not accountability, he was trying to do a smear job. The "whistle blower" thing was just an excuse after he got caught.

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By jason (registered) | Posted June 29, 2008 at 22:16:38

I agree with Fox40.
Clark wasn't whisteblowing at all. He was simply continuing with this well-established campaign to disagree with Fred on every issue and try to make him look bad at every chance.

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By Baystreeter (anonymous) | Posted June 30, 2008 at 00:44:16

As if Fred needs help looking bad. Did you read the letter to the editor of the Spectator saying that all Fred is good for is a 'laugh'! I would laugh if he wasn't so pathetically inept!
Clark did the right thing. He just did it the wrong way!

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By Balance (anonymous) | Posted June 30, 2008 at 09:53:30

Jason,

Everything you mention was set in motion well before Mayor Fred. If LRT happens it won't be because of him. The man can't muster any support on way or the other. There is no focus on council because there is no leadership. His idea of concensus is simply to take half steps in any decision. We need a strong leader and hopefully we get that next election.

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By zach hargrove (anonymous) | Posted June 30, 2008 at 10:23:39

"Look at the spoiler role Bratina and Mchattie played on the Lister."

I'm GLAD Bratina and McHattie voted the way they did. The Lister deal was dumb, dumb, dumb, too much money for something (office space) we already have a lot of in a building that office space doesn't make much sense. As a taxpayer I'm tired of helping line the pockets of our Developer Friends (TM). Protect the building from getting demolished and let LIUNA figure out how to make money off of it - they're all grownups last time I checked.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted June 30, 2008 at 10:53:59

I'm confused. McHattie voted for the city's deal, Bratina voted against it. Just how exactly were they the 'spoilers'?

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By zach hargrove (anonymous) | Posted June 30, 2008 at 11:20:41

Oops, my bad.

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By jason (registered) | Posted June 30, 2008 at 22:24:18

no need to apolgize zach. If you read the Spectator you can't help but automatically assume that McHattie and Bratina are somehow responsible for everything that goes wrong.

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By phil b (anonymous) | Posted June 30, 2008 at 22:35:31

Baystreeter's attitude is the problem with Hamilton. Eager to shoot down other people working to make a difference using words they either don't understand or through around so generally they mean nothing.

People need to put up or shut-up. If Baystreeter thinks he can do a better job, then he should stop hiding behind a fake name and put his real name out there and then run for election. It's easy to complain and then sit back in one's arm chair and do nothing. Make a difference in the community is not a spectator sport - leadership is not about always getting your way.

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By markwhittle (registered) - website | Posted July 02, 2008 at 14:56:43

this comment has been updated at the request of the commenter

Lost in all this is the fact that the petty theft to which the Mayor ascribed happened well over a year ago at the abandoned city hall on Main Street.

How on earth does Mayor Fred expect the police to solve a "cold-case" file (TapeGate) that happened a year ago despite the statute of limitations that has already expired?

The odds of success are zero.

On top of that, the political employee who is being "accused" of making the tape with the Mayors consent and leaking it to the press and other councillors, including Brad Clark, is suing the Mayors office for wrongful dismisal.

[two paragraphs removed at the request of the commenter]

That's Hamilton, get used to it.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted July 02, 2008 at 16:26:26

Mark-Alan Whittle,

You wrote:

But what about the ethics of Spectator reporter Nicole MacIntyre who published an "off-the-record" conversation with fellow reporter Andrew Dreschel and the Mayor in what amounted to a sole source leak in her story in the Hamilton Spectator?

Do you have a source for this claim? I've been following this story pretty closely; as far as I can see, neither the Spectator nor Nicole MacIntyre has published any of the transcript.

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By markwhittle (registered) - website | Posted July 02, 2008 at 17:24:32

Hi Jason, I'm sure you have heard from Nicole.

MAW, I’m disappointed in your comments on Raise the Hammer. I did not publish the content of the off the record conversation. In fact, the Spectator will not publish the transcript because it would violate Dreschel’s agreement with the mayor. Other media have published the content. Please retract your incorrect statement.

Nicole

In her story she actually quoted the Mayor.

At the time of the post I didn't know about this:

http://www.hamiltonmountainnews.com/news...

Therefore I would like you to correct the record and kidly ask you to remove the portion of my post mentioning Nicole and the sentence after it mentioning the "pot and the kettle black" please.

The rest is fair comment.

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