Former Deputy Mayor Maureen Cassidy is returning to work.
“I will be returning with renewed enthusiasm and determination to focus on the work my constituents elected me to do,” Cassidy said in a statement from the City.
“I know that Londoners are eager to see this Council direct its attention to the very important matters facing this city. I’m excited to rejoin all of my Council colleagues so we may continue to work together on these issues. I’d like to thank my colleagues for their support during my absence and especially Councillors Park, Squire and Morgan for their help in handling inquiries from my constituents. I would also like to thank my constituents and the community at large for their encouragement and support.”
The Ward 5 Councillor’s self-imposed exile from council duties over the last 10 weeks will end Monday afternoon when she attends the Civic Works Committee meeting at City Hall.
“I’ve been hoping for this all summer,” said Councillor Tanya Park.
“I’ve told Councillor Cassidy several times that when I look at her vacant chair, it brings me great sadness because she was a great colleague and I look forward to her coming back.”
Cassidy has been on leave since June 9th when she announced she was taking a leave of absence. Five days later the shocking revelation that Cassidy and Mayor Matt Brown had engaged in a months-long affair was revealed.
Brown also took a leave of absence at the time, but returned to his post a week later.
Cassidy says she hasn’t talked to Brown since the scandal broke. She says she continues to work on her relationship with her husband and that they’ve come a long way over the past 50 days.
Cassidy maintains she believes the affair was a private matter and should never have been made public, saying nothing in her private life ever compromised anything in her professional life.
All city councillors are returning to work this week after a three week break, although Brown and Cassidy won’t sit on the same committee until next week. They’re both on the Strategic Priorities and Policy Committee meeting set for next Monday, followed by a full council meeting next Tuesday.
“I think those two will have a difficulty, perhaps,” said Park.
“But I hope that they can push past that. They know they’ve got colleagues that are focused on the work of the city, and I hope that we can all move past this.”
Mayor Matt Brown released a statement in response to Cassidy’s return.
“We’re at our best when each and every one of us is around the horseshoe. I am looking forward to working with all of my Council colleagues, including Councillor Cassidy. We have a great deal of important work ahead and I’m glad we can move forward as a group as we prepare to tackle the fall agenda.”