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New Britain Council asks Mayor full accounting of Chamber of Commerce funding in wake of Tim Stewart controversy

NEW BRITAIN — The social media spiral continues for former New Britain Mayor Tim Stewart. The Common Council here in New Britain is demanding that Mayor Erin Stewart, Tim Stewart’s daughter, disclose all of the money the city has given to the Chamber of Commerce either directly or indirectly.

The New Britain Common Council has issued a petition demanding the city stop funding the Chamber of Commerce until President Tim Stewart has been terminated. Mayor Erin Stewart, Tim’s daughter said the city doesn’t fund the chamber. “Under my leadership, the City’s Economic Development staff was moved back into City Hall several years ago to have autonomy from the Chamber. The two entities remain separated,” said Mayor Erin Stewart.

Eva Magnuszewski is the President Pro Tempore of the Council. She told said, “Our budget books are hundreds of pages long. There are various line items in different locations — which is why we asked for a full accounting.”

The back and forth is the latest following Tim Stewart sexist Facebook comment on the women in white during the State of the Union.

Baldwin Communications is a women-owned business in New Britain. President Ann Baldwin knows Tim Stewart personally and handles issues of crisis communications for a living.

“I see offensive things on social media each and every day,” said Baldwin. “This one has been pulled out of the pile because of who he is and frankly what he said. So has he put himself in a bad light? Yes. But he’s also taken the appropriate measures in my opinion to try and fix it and apologize. So I can only speak for myself as a woman in business here in New Britain.”

Stewart did issue an apology on his Facebook page. The Chamber Board put him on leave pending a meeting to determine future discipline. “The city really needs to move forward. I hope it’s not a reflection on his daughter who is doing a pretty good job as mayor and I think it will be difficult for him to attract businesses here,” said Drew Borders, who knows Stewart from the golf course.

Stewart also resigned from two city committees following the backlash. “I think that’s pathetic,” said New Britain’s Donna Reale. “I think it’s wrong. A person who has this position should not be speaking detrimentally about a woman.”

FOX61 tried to reach out to Tim Stewart on multiple occasions. We have not heard back and Mayor Erin Stewart told me she’s not commenting beyond the written statements. The council will place the petition on their agenda during their next meeting February 13th. The public is invited to comment.

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