Mayor and Councilman in War of Words

McNamara, seen talking with a reporter.
McNamara, seen talking with a reporter.

TOLEDO -- Toledo's mayor and a city councilman are in the middle of a war of words.  Last week, Democratic party leadership was critcized for hiring strippers to be waitresses at a fund-raising golf outing.  Now Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner is blasting Councilman Joe McNamara for his behavior following the scandal.

"The mayor should be criticizing [Lucas County Democratic Party Chairman] John Irish, who's wrapped in scandal," said McNamara.  He blames Irish for hiring women from a strip club to work at last week's golf outing.  Irish says he had no knowledge of their employment.

McNamara says it was an embarassment to the party.  "The Democratic party scandal made news in France and in China," McNamara said.  "The mayor ought to be joining me for John Irish's resignation both as party chairman and chair of this committee."  But McNamara received a letter on Friday that he says criticizes him instead of going after Irish.

The letter from Mayor Carty Finkbeiner reads, in part, "I want to convey... your rude and unprofessional interference in Thursday's scheduled Charter Committee meeting was not appreciated..."

"The meeting was about to be held illegally," said McNamara.  "There was no Charter Revision Committee meeting.  I brought up six points at that meeting about what the committee, chaired by John Irish, was doing wrong, and doing illegally."

McNamara also suggested the committee find a new chairman.  "Mayor Finkbeiner is protecting a political crony with a history of mistreating women," said McNamara.  "This is the good ol' boys club at its worst."

The mayor's spokesperson, Brian Schwartz, says the mayor isn't taking sides in the issue of John Irish and the party scandal, but he was bothered by McNamara's presence at the meeting.  "The mayor's concern was Joe's behavior on the 22nd floor.  He was discourteous to the mayor's receptionist," said Schwartz.

McNamara says he was never discourteous, and only concerned about the future of the Democratic party.

Count on News 11 to follow this story as it develops.

Posted by AEB