Councilman’s gay email flap goes viral
Washington Councilman Matt Staniszewski wasn’t very “gay” today after being featured on “The Jimmy Kimmel Show” Wednesday night for sending out a city transit rider test alert in which he called a friend gay, and then explaining at a council meeting that the term meant “happy.”
“I recognize that a mistake was made,” said Staniszewski. “But, human beings do make errors.”
Staniszewski’s error came to light Monday when Mayor Brenda Davis questioned his role in the company contracted to provide information technology services to the city’s transit authority.
While Staniszewski says he informed council and Davis personally that he was a member of the board of directors for nTouch Inc., Davis says he did not. She was unaware he had access to the website.
The test rider alert email that said, “Alert: This is a test. Bryan is gay” went out Feb. 25, and soon after the city received an email from a Canonsburg man concerned because the alert was received on his work account.
Staniszewski said Tuesday he was assisting in testing the transit system’s new smartphone alert system when he sent out the email.
“I was not aware that the system was live. I thought it was still in a testing environment,” he said.
Staniszewski blames Davis for misconstruing his use of “gay” and turning City Hall “into an episode of the ‘Jerry Springer Show.’”
The councilman said he did not see the Kimmel skit but learned about it after receiving several phone calls, text messages and emails from friends and family.
Staniszewski said he has received a few emails from other people who have “expressed their opinion.”
In the meantime, by noon, City Hall received more than 20 phone calls, most of which were from people asking the time of tonight’s council meeting.
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