London mayor takes temporary leave after affair with deputy mayor

London, Ont. Mayor Matt Brown is taking a temporary leave after he engaged in what he calls an "inappropriate personal relationship" with Deputy Mayor Maureen Cassidy.​

Meeting with Integrity Commissioner planned for Thursday

London Mayor Matt Brown, right, will take a temporary leave of absence after having an affair with a fellow city councillor. (Matt Brown/Facebook)

London, Ont. Mayor Matt Brown says he is leaving office temporarily after he confirmed he had an affair with the city's deputy mayor.

Brown said in a statement he had an "inappropriate personal relationship" with Ward 5 Coun. Maureen Cassidy, calling his behaviour a "grave error in judgement."​

Cassidy resigned as deputy mayor at an emotional council meeting on Tuesday.

Coun. Virgina Ridley said Cassidy will continue in her councillor position, but she too is taking some time off to deal with personal matters.

"She was teary when she announced she would be stepping down," Ridley said. "Because of stress on her family, she was stepping down."  

Brown said the relationship, which developed "during a period of intense workload," ended some time ago.

​"I am deeply sorry for the pain that this has caused — for my wife, my family and everyone involved. I make no excuses for my behavior and my poor judgement in my personal life," he said.

Will meet with integrity commissioner

Brown said he plans to meet with the integrity commissioner on Thursday to discuss whether his behaviour may have breached his professional responsibilities as mayor.

"I will abide by any decisions or recommendations of the commissioner," he said.

As for his marriage, Brown said he and his wife Andrea Brown are committed to staying together and "working through our private issues" with the help of a marriage counsellor and a church minister.

He said his wife was "extremely angry" and his actions have put a "tremendous strain" on their relationship.

"My primary focus must always be to earn the love and respect of Andrea and my family," he said.