Committee member who kept a Trump hat on the table apologizes

"It will never happen again," David Serwatuk says in a statement distributed through the mayor's office.

'It will never happen again,' says David Serwatuk, who displayed a Trump hat at the quasi-judicial meeting

David Serwatuk kept a "Make America great again" hat on the table throughout a Hamilton committee of adjustment meeting. When someone complained, he removed it. On Tuesday, he apologized. (Samantha Craggs/CBC)

The committee of adjustment member who made headlines for keeping a Donald Trump hat on the boardroom table last week has apologized.

It will never happen again.- David Serwatuk

David Serwatuk, a member of the quasi-judicial committee, says he "truly apologizes" for having a "Make America great again" hat displayed during a Nov. 17 meeting.

"I truly apologize for what transpired," Serwatuk said in a statement distributed by Mayor Fred Eisenberger. "It will never happen again.

"I intend to discuss this with committee at the next meeting both to apologize and suggest ways to make it not happen in the future."

The issue started when Serwatuk, a member of the non-partisan committee that makes planning decisions, brought the hat to a meeting. He kept it on the table facing him until a speaker complained. Serwatuk then declared a conflict of interest and stepped out.

Mayor Eisenberger has accepted Mr. Serwatuk's apology and considers this matter closed‎.- A statement from the mayor's office

Serwatuk said that day that his brother gave him the hat as a gift just before the meeting. He had nowhere else to put it, he said, so he put it on the table.

Still, the partisan display caused a minor uproar at city hall. On Twitter, Eisenberger called the move "totally inappropriate." He and Coun. Aidan Johnson will push for a code of conduct Wednesday for city board and committee members.

Otherwise, Eisenberger is satisfied after meeting with Serwatuk and committee chair Mark Dudzic.

"Mayor Eisenberger has accepted Mr. Serwatuk's apology and considers this matter closed‎," his office said in a statement.

Serwatuk isn't the first person to get busted for displaying a Trump hat while serving in a role that's supposed to be non-partisan.

Earlier this month, Hamilton judge Bernd Zabel wore a Trump hat into a courtroom. Four people have filed complaints with the Ontario Judicial Council. Zabel has also apologized. 

Text of the apology

"To the Great City of Hamilton

Regardless of my or anyone's personal, political, religious or social belief, I fully acknowledge and understand that any display of such belief should never be shown or displayed at a Judicial or Quasi-Judicial public meeting. I truly apologize for what transpired at the Committee of Adjustments meeting last week, November 17, 2016. It will never happen again. I intend to discuss this with committee at the next hearing both to apologize and suggest ways to make it not happen in the future."