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A city councilwoman in Trenton, N.J., got into a 30-minute shouting match with the city’s mayor during a conference call over disagreements about funding for non-profit groups during which she laced into him with a stream of profanities and homophobic insults.
According to an audio of the call obtained by The Trentonian, Councilwoman Robin Vaughn and other members along with Mayor Reed Gusciora, who is gay, were discussing continuing efforts to manage the city during the coronavirus pandemic.
At one point, Vaughn and Gusicora became conflicted over “do-nothing” charity groups that are getting city taxpayer funding, with Vaughn launching into an angry tirade.
“The concern as to the level of the facilitation and their delivery, whether or not all they are…” Vaughn said before being interrupted by the mayor.
“Robin, I’m curious what you’d deem as a do-nothing nonprofit?” he asked.
The two then began raising their voices at each other before the conflict devolved into a full-scale shout-fest.
“Why are you advocating for a nonprofit? Which one are you advocating for? You should be advocating for the residents of this city to ensure that those nonprofits are delivering the services that the taxpayers are…” Vaughn said.
“Okay, radioactive,” Gusciora responded, using a nickname given to Vaughn by The Trentonian. “Name one Robin, come on.”
He then called her a “4-year-old” and a “child.”
She responded with, “You’re a child, and you’re incompetent, and you know it.”
The two continued to exchange heated comments, arguing over whether a specific nonprofit is effective at carrying out its mission, when another voice on the call asks, “Can somebody get control of this?”
Vaughn then called Gusciora a “motherf—ing drug-addict pedophile, that’s what you are.”
He then called her “embarrassing” and asked other city council members how they could “put up with this.”
This went on for 30 minutes, according to reports, after which Vaughn left the phone call telling one member to “help pack [Gusciora’s] bags and suck his d—k while you’re at it.”
After she left the call, Gusciora asked the other council members, “Have you ever seen me curse out people like that?” Adding that Vaughn “can’t control herself.”
Following the phone call, Vaughn issued a statement.
— Robin M Vaughn (@trentonwestward) May 3, 2020
“Trentonians, since I don’t have the privilege of having friends who are owners and/or editors of newspapers who will only write good things about me or my side of the story, then I will request the full audio or transcript be released so you, the residents and taxpayers of Trenton, will have the full context of that conference call,” she said.
According to NJ.com, Gusciora said, “This is pretty much par for the course, unfortunately, for the councilwoman. She went on a complete meltdown, a tirade.”
LGBTQ groups are now calling on Vaughn to resign, The Trentonian reports.
“Councilwoman Vaughn is unfit to serve the people of Trenton,” Christian Fuscarino, executive director of Garden State Equality, told the paper. “There’s no need to parse words here: for her hateful anti-LGBTQ language and defending the anti-Semitic slurs of others, she must resign.
“Her words are an attack on the diversity of Trenton’s community, the city’s elected leadership, and our state as a whole. Any decent-minded New Jerseyan who believes in the success and future of our state’s capital should denounce this hateful rhetoric and call for her to step down immediately,” Fuscarino added.
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