Sex scandal 'nightmare' meant candidate had to quit: expert

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Politics

An ambitious young Toronto city councillor with his sights set on the mayor's office abandoned his bid to lead Canada's most populous city Wednesday as he apologized for multiple incidents of sexual infidelity.

"There are weeks that change your life and this one has certainly changed mine," Adam Giambrone, 32, told a packed news conference.

TTC chairman, city councillor and mayoral candidate Adam Giambrone reads a statement during a news conference at Toronto's City Hall Wednesday. Revelations of multiple cases of sexual infidelity cost the young and ambitious Toronto city councillor his bid

Toronto -

An ambitious young Toronto city councillor with his sights set on the mayor's office abandoned his bid to lead Canada's most populous city Wednesday as he apologized for multiple incidents of sexual infidelity.

"There are weeks that change your life and this one has certainly changed mine," Adam Giambrone, 32, told a packed news conference.

"This searing experience has taught me, I hope permanently, that a public career of integrity cannot survive deceit in your private life."

Giambrone apologized to his supporters, friends and family for the hurt he has caused after admitting to having "intimate relations" with a number of partners over the last year in the run-up to the election, scheduled for October.

Giambrone was too distraught to finish his prepared statement, instead fleeing right after apologizing for the "deep hurt" he has caused to Sarah McQuarrie, his partner of several years.

McQuarrie was at Giambrone's side when he announced his candidacy Feb. 1 Giambrone reportedly said in an e-mail to one of the women McQuarrie is around for "political" purposes.

"I deeply apologize to my partner Sarah," said an emotional Giambrone. "The pain she has endured for my mistakes was deeply unfair to her. She has shown a lot of strength in all of this."

Giambrone then quickly exited as reporters shouted questions after him. His assistant, Kevin Beaulieu, had to read the rest of Giambrone's prepared statement for him.

"His mayoralty campaign ends today (Wednesday)," Beaulieu said.

Giambrone, who was first elected to council in 2003 at age 26, is an archeologist by training and is fluent in French and Arabic, according to his website. He also served as the national president of the New Democratic Party of Canada from 2001 to 2006.

Giambrone will stay on as a city councillor and chairman of the Toronto Transit Commission, the country's largest, yet much maligned, public transit system, despite several other councillors calling for his resignation from that agency.

This week a 20-year-old university student came forward saying she had been having an affair with Giambrone. The councillor at first said the relationship was limited to texting and conversations in public places. He then admitted to having "intimate relations" with women other than his partner.

The student has said Giambrone discussed a fare hike at the transit commission before it happened.

The relationship and Giambrone's further admission of multiple affairs came to light in the Toronto Star.

Giambrone had no choice but to resign, according to one public relations expert who has worked for many high-profile politicians.

"In short, it's a nightmare. This is one of those situations where all the spin-doctoring in the world just can't save you," said Bob Reid, chief media strategist for Veritas Communications.

"When you have a candidate like this who has absolutely shredded his credibility, and I think he did that right on day one, all the counterspin, all the counter positioning in the world just isn't going to pull it out of the fire," added Reid, who is not working for, or supporting, any of the mayoral candidates.

Mayor David Miller called Giambrone's decision regrettable but understandable.

Mayoral candidate George Smitherman called on him to resign as TTC chair.

Coun. Howard Moscoe said Giambrone probably did the right thing by stepping down. When asked what would happen if every politician who was having an affair resigned, Moscoe predicted: "We'd have a very small council."

A number of other city councillors expressed the view that a politician's private life should remain private.

But it's fair game to report on the sexual affairs of politicians if they lie to the public, says Christopher Waddell, the director of Carleton University's School of Journalism.

"When politicians create images for themselves, and if they do things in their private lives that are contrary to the public image they're creating for themselves, then I think they become fair game for media reporting," he said.

Waddell says the truth will come out in a world of emails, Facebook, Twitter, websites and digitized media.

Candidates on the mayoralty ballot now include Smitherman, former Liberal fundraiser Rocco Rossi and two city councillors, Joe Pantalone and Giorgio Mammolitti.

Organizations: Toronto Transit Commission, New Democratic Party of Canada, Veritas Communications Carleton University School of Journalism

Geographic location: Toronto, Canada

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Recent comments

  • Eugene
    July 02, 2010 - 13:35

    Telling it like it is, should change their moniker to 'Telling it like I'd like it to be'. This councillor (mayor wannabe) wasn't forced from office, nobody fired him from the TTC, there's no mob waiting outside to paint him with the scarlet 'A'. He just realizes when he misrepresents himself (I guess you could call that lying) while seeking public office, it pretty well shoots the hell out of his chances. And, as Waddell at Cartoon, excuse me Carleton U points out, presenting one face to the public and another privately leaves you open to the prying eyes of the 3rd estate.

  • grant
    July 02, 2010 - 13:33

    I have to laugh at how suprised everyone are when something like this comes out. does everyone think that all our politicans do is rob from the public purse. if the public only knew especially the ones who wouldnt say sex if there mouth was full of it, who has a one on the side, clergy, judges, police, politicans, teachers, moms and dads, they would be floored. i just take it as another entertainment story. dont forget it takes two to tangle.

  • Politically Incorrect
    July 02, 2010 - 13:32

    At least he didn't start an illegal war on based on lies and falsehoods resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands and the resurgence of terrorist groups. Oh wait, that's not a moral indicator.

  • Telling it like it is
    July 02, 2010 - 13:29

    Joanne,

    Have you ever in your lifetime shortchanged a former partner?

    Ever cheated on him?

    Ever gone after his home, RRSP's, possessions?

    Ever demanded half?

    if you answer yes to any of these questions, I expect you to submit a letter of resignation to your employer by the end of the business day.

  • Joanne
    July 02, 2010 - 13:28

    Once again, another pathetic sorrowful apology; ONLY because he
    GOT CAUGHT !!!!

  • GAR
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    Giambrone is an archeologist by training, eh ? He spent his time jumping bones instead of digging for them. lol-

  • crackie
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    What about the private life of Col. Russell Williams? Think he did a good job? Easy enough to live two different lives.

  • briny69
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    if you never had groupies -golddiggers throwing themselves at people in power this stuff would never happen

  • Paul
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    FIne to be sowing seeds, but when you have a wife, common law or whatever it changes things. Also as a public figure the people need to know you can be trusted. And leading a secret life of betrayal just doesn't do it. She should be sure to dump him and forget about ti and the people of TO should make sure he finds another job. I can just see all kinds of potential for sexual exploitation by a person in power.

  • Joanne
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    Telling it Like It Is, from Joanne
    I am far from perfect, but No to
    all your questions. I don't care if
    he sleeps with a different woman every night but he was in a committed relationship; married or not. How do you think she feels?
    I don't know if there are children in this particular instance, but where there are innocent children, what about the consequences to them?
    If any of these famous people,
    politicians, clergy, etc., hadn't gotten caught, do you really think they'd be apoligizing and feeling sorry?
    That's what's usually published so much...their pathetic sad looking faces, overly apologic. They'd be
    continuing on with their lifestyles.
    More than likely, their personal activities would not affect their job performance, but they should know by now that if they are in the public eye, they are going to be scrutinized
    very closely.

  • Telling it like it is
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    In France it is illegal, I repeat, ILLEGAL for the press to report on the PRIVATE LIVES OF THEIR POLITICANS.

    I don't care if the mayor of toronto spends his free time with a different man or woman every night. I really couldn't care.

    as long as he or she did a good job, that's all that really matters.

    This forcing a person to resign simply because he had a prying eye is BS.

    If this is the precident being set, then every person who has ever cheated on their boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife should resign immediately.

  • FRancis
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    Is having sex with different women wrong? These are powerful and attrative men .

  • Lisa
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    Briny 69, That isn't the way it is in all situations. I imagine some, yes.

    Telling it like it is, to Joanne.
    She is only spoke her opinion so why did you attack her with your claws out?

  • Lena
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    We're supposed to respect Danny's right to privacy when he makes the very public and politically charged decision to obtain medical care outside Canada, but it's okay to pry into Mr. Giambrone's sexual conduct? Double standard!

  • Eugene
    July 01, 2010 - 20:25

    Telling it like it is, should change their moniker to 'Telling it like I'd like it to be'. This councillor (mayor wannabe) wasn't forced from office, nobody fired him from the TTC, there's no mob waiting outside to paint him with the scarlet 'A'. He just realizes when he misrepresents himself (I guess you could call that lying) while seeking public office, it pretty well shoots the hell out of his chances. And, as Waddell at Cartoon, excuse me Carleton U points out, presenting one face to the public and another privately leaves you open to the prying eyes of the 3rd estate.

  • grant
    July 01, 2010 - 20:22

    I have to laugh at how suprised everyone are when something like this comes out. does everyone think that all our politicans do is rob from the public purse. if the public only knew especially the ones who wouldnt say sex if there mouth was full of it, who has a one on the side, clergy, judges, police, politicans, teachers, moms and dads, they would be floored. i just take it as another entertainment story. dont forget it takes two to tangle.

  • Politically Incorrect
    July 01, 2010 - 20:21

    At least he didn't start an illegal war on based on lies and falsehoods resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands and the resurgence of terrorist groups. Oh wait, that's not a moral indicator.

  • Telling it like it is
    July 01, 2010 - 20:17

    Joanne,

    Have you ever in your lifetime shortchanged a former partner?

    Ever cheated on him?

    Ever gone after his home, RRSP's, possessions?

    Ever demanded half?

    if you answer yes to any of these questions, I expect you to submit a letter of resignation to your employer by the end of the business day.

  • Joanne
    July 01, 2010 - 20:16

    Once again, another pathetic sorrowful apology; ONLY because he
    GOT CAUGHT !!!!

  • GAR
    July 01, 2010 - 20:13

    Giambrone is an archeologist by training, eh ? He spent his time jumping bones instead of digging for them. lol-

  • crackie
    July 01, 2010 - 20:11

    What about the private life of Col. Russell Williams? Think he did a good job? Easy enough to live two different lives.

  • briny69
    July 01, 2010 - 20:09

    if you never had groupies -golddiggers throwing themselves at people in power this stuff would never happen

  • Paul
    July 01, 2010 - 20:07

    FIne to be sowing seeds, but when you have a wife, common law or whatever it changes things. Also as a public figure the people need to know you can be trusted. And leading a secret life of betrayal just doesn't do it. She should be sure to dump him and forget about ti and the people of TO should make sure he finds another job. I can just see all kinds of potential for sexual exploitation by a person in power.

  • Joanne
    July 01, 2010 - 19:59

    Telling it Like It Is, from Joanne
    I am far from perfect, but No to
    all your questions. I don't care if
    he sleeps with a different woman every night but he was in a committed relationship; married or not. How do you think she feels?
    I don't know if there are children in this particular instance, but where there are innocent children, what about the consequences to them?
    If any of these famous people,
    politicians, clergy, etc., hadn't gotten caught, do you really think they'd be apoligizing and feeling sorry?
    That's what's usually published so much...their pathetic sad looking faces, overly apologic. They'd be
    continuing on with their lifestyles.
    More than likely, their personal activities would not affect their job performance, but they should know by now that if they are in the public eye, they are going to be scrutinized
    very closely.

  • Telling it like it is
    July 01, 2010 - 19:55

    In France it is illegal, I repeat, ILLEGAL for the press to report on the PRIVATE LIVES OF THEIR POLITICANS.

    I don't care if the mayor of toronto spends his free time with a different man or woman every night. I really couldn't care.

    as long as he or she did a good job, that's all that really matters.

    This forcing a person to resign simply because he had a prying eye is BS.

    If this is the precident being set, then every person who has ever cheated on their boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife should resign immediately.

  • FRancis
    July 01, 2010 - 19:49

    Is having sex with different women wrong? These are powerful and attrative men .

  • Lisa
    July 01, 2010 - 19:47

    Briny 69, That isn't the way it is in all situations. I imagine some, yes.

    Telling it like it is, to Joanne.
    She is only spoke her opinion so why did you attack her with your claws out?

  • Lena
    July 01, 2010 - 19:44

    We're supposed to respect Danny's right to privacy when he makes the very public and politically charged decision to obtain medical care outside Canada, but it's okay to pry into Mr. Giambrone's sexual conduct? Double standard!