Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora says that he regrets interacting with embattled Councilwoman Robin Vaughn during a coronavirus briefing, but says he’s had enough of her divisive and hateful comments,
“She has had a history of causing disruptions at Council meetings and attacking other decent people, based on their religion or ethnicity, who want to move our City forward,” Gusciora said. “Vaughn has been relentless in her attacks of members of my administration and regular City workers trying to do their jobs. She is in violation of a court order for her to refrain from such conduct.”
According to Gusciora, Vaughn was given a pass for anti-Semitic comments made last fall.
“When is enough?” Gusciora asked.
The mayor says that “government leaders at all levels will disagree on the best course of action, and sometimes emotions can get the best of us.”
“Councilwoman Vaughn chose to launch into a vitriolic attack full of homophobic slurs, false accusations, and hateful comments,” Gusciora stated. “This was beyond the pale. The toxic and harassing language used by the Councilperson has no place even in the most heated of arguments.”
The Saturday phone call included about 30 minutes of profane and homophobic slurs, mostly aimed at Gusciora, the city’s openly gay mayor.
Gusciora called on Vaughn to change her ways.
“My actions have always spoken louder than my words, and my actions have been and will be to work tirelessly on behalf this City,” the mayor said. “It is time for an end to the divisive and disruptive behavior of Councilwoman Vaughn.”
Vaughn told Councilman Joseph Harrison, who spoke up in Gusciora’s defense, to “continue to suck Reed’s dick, motherfucker.”
“We don’t have bitch ass men in my family. We don’t have bitch-ass men like you and Reed Gusciora in my family. We got real men in my family, bitch asses. Nothing but a bunch of women, that’s all you are. Bitches,” Vaughn said. “That’s right, running around here with young men, and Reed ain’t nothing but an old pedophile. Bitch-ass mother-fucking mayor.”
Gusciora grew frustrated when Vaughn asserted that federal grant dollars were going to “do-nothing” non-profit groups, like Homefront, Catholic Charities, the Rescue Mission and the Trenton Health Team.
“I took this personally because I know first-hand the hard work these organizations have been undertaking in the response to COVID-19,” Gusciora said. “They provide healthcare, rental support, food access, emergency shelters, and a whole litany of other critical needs.”
Some of New Jersey’s most influential Democrats – Gov. Phil Murphy, U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker, Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver and Democratic State Chairman John Currie – have already called on Vaugh to resign the West Ward council seat she won in 2018.
Gusciora is making bid for peace.
“The City is facing difficult decisions regarding the path forward in the face of a global pandemic. I am putting my focus and energy towards figuring out solutions to our challenges. As I have always done, I will continue to work with those members of the City Council that want to advance initiatives that benefit the citizens of Trenton,” he said. “We simply do not have time for those that refuse to consider the collective good.”