A conference call between Trenton officials ran civilly for less than 20 minutes before descending into more than half an hour of profane and slur-laced tirades.
The troubles began when embattled Councilwoman Robin Vaughn and Mayor Reed Gusciora argued over health nonprofits that receive some funding from the city.
Vaughn, who made social media posts warning residents to keep “all eyes on all those ‘do nothing’ nonprofits” in advance of the meeting, claimed that the Trenton Health Team, which drafts Trenton’s community health improvement plan, had not done anything in the years it has contracted with the city.
Gusciora claimed the Vaughn was making baseless attacks — the councilwoman has long been an opponent of the mayor’s and has publicly flirted with running against Gusciora if he seeks a second term in 2022 — and called her a child and, a little later, an idiot.
The mayor attempted to end the call after Vaughn began shouting. Vaughn responded by claiming that Gusciora, Trenton’s first openly gay mayor and the first openly gay member of the state legislature, is a pedophile.
“You’re nothing but an old pedophile running around with little boys,” Vaughn said. “You need to get the fuck out of the office and get the fuck out of Trenton.”
Councilman Joe Harrison stepped in to defend Gusciora, deriding Vaughn as an embarrassment and asking the call’s operator to mute the councilwoman.
In the meantime, Vaughn repeatedly called both Harrison and Gusciora “bitches.”
Not long after, she again accused Gusciora of being a pedophile and told Harrison 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.”
The call returned to focus on COVID-19 after that, though the reprieve lasted only about two minutes.
As Council President Kathy McBride was attempting to end the call, Vaughn began shouting at Harrison, claiming he had done nothing for Trenton during his time in office and again told the councilman to fellate the mayor.
“Continue to suck Reed Gusciora’s dick all you want to, motherfucker,” Vaughn said.
The two councilmembers continued the deeply-personal fight uninterrupted for about 10 minutes.
Harrison called Vaughn a nobody who would be forgotten after losing her race in 2022. Vaughn said Harrison’s mother was a prostitute.
Eventually, McBride told everyone aside from the feuding councilmembers to get off the call, though she had to do it over Vaughn again calling the mayor a pedophile.
“The only thing he’s brought into city hall is a bunch of young boys, and they’re sitting up there in the mayor’s suite,” Vaughn said.
The quarrel renewed after that, with the councilman repeatedly calling for Vaughn to seek psychiatric help and the councilwoman repeating past charges at Harrison.
After roughly 30-minutes of fighting, Harrison moved to leave the call, and Vaughn again told the councilman to perform a sex act on Gusciora.
“Get the fuck outta here, you bitch. Goodbye. You better get off the phone, you fucking coward,” she said. “Go suck Reed’s dick now, motherfucker. Just go do that.”
Council Vice President Marge Caldwell-Wilson, McBride and Harrison remained on the call after Vaughn’s departure. They said the councilwoman had not attended such a call for roughly two weeks after a previous profane outburst and discussed ways to potentially mute her during future episodes.
Garden State Equality has demanded the councilwoman’s resignation, and Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg has condemned her over the calls.
Vaughn drew fire last fall for defending McBride’s use of an anti-Semitic slur, saying “Jew her down” was just a verb.