KEY POINTS

  • Trenton city councilwoman Robin Vaughn is being called on to resign
  • Vaughn could be heard in a conference call using homophobic slurs, profane language
  • Reed Gusciora is Trenton's first openly gay mayor

Robin Vaughn, a Democratic city councilwoman from Trenton, N.J., is facing calls for her resignation after referring to the city’s first openly gay mayor, Democrat Reed Gusciora, as a “drug addict pedophile.”

Since the details of a 54-minute conference call in which they participated and was held over the weekend emerged, various groups, including LGBTQ advocacy group Garden State Equality, have called on Vaughn to resign as councilwoman.

Over the past weekend, Vaughn and Gusciora clashed during a conference call intended to address the coronavirus crisis. In an audio recording of the call obtained by The Trentonian, Gusciora could be heard confronting Vaughn over social media posts she had made in which she accused the mayor of supporting “do-nothing” groups.

This spurred Vaughn to begin a tirade in which, among other accusations, included telling Gusciora and city councilman Joe Harrison that they were not “real men,” as well as twice graphically accusing Harrison of performing sex acts on the mayor.

“Continue to suck Reed Gusciora’s d*** all you want to, motherf*****,” Vaughn said during the call.

When pressed to name the organizations she considered “do-nothing,” Vaughn then accused the mayor of being a “drug addict pedophile.”

“The only thing [Gusciora] brought into City Hall is a bunch of young boys, and they’re sitting up there in the mayor’s suite,” Vaughn said.

Since then, Vaughn has declined to comment directly on her remarks, instead claiming that her words were taken out of context. On social media, the city councilwoman wrote that “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 a 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 the conference call.”

Gusciora said in a public statement Vaughn had a “history of causing disruptions” and that her recent “vitriolic attack full of homophobic slurs, false statements and hateful comments … [have] no place even in the most heated of arguments.”

Vaughn is no stranger to controversy. In September, she defended fellow city councilwoman Kathy McBride after McBride was accused of using an antisemitic slur behind closed doors. Referring to this incident, which had lead to Vaughn being temporarily excluded from city leadership briefings, Gusciora told The Trentonian that this recent outburst shows she “has no ability to have public discourse with other governmental leaders.”

Despite Vaughn’s apparent affinity for controversy, it is believed by some Trenton city government insiders that she is preparing to challenge Gusciora for the mayoralty after his first term is over.

Demonstrators in favor of LGBT rights rally outside the US Supreme Court in Washington ahead of the court's hearing on gay and transgender workplace rights Demonstrators in favor of LGBT rights rally outside the US Supreme Court in Washington ahead of the court's hearing on gay and transgender workplace rights Photo: AFP / SAUL LOEB