- Associated Press - Friday, June 5, 2015

CLEVELAND (AP) - The recently appointed mayor of Akron said Friday that he acted inappropriately with a city employee when she tried to congratulate him on his new job and that he will not seek election this fall as he had previously announced.

Garry Moneypenny, who was council president before being sworn in as mayor Sunday, said at a news conference in Akron that he “turned a goodbye hug into a too-personal encounter.”

“I have known this employee for over 14 years,” Moneypenny said. “We have always had a very professional relationship. And I clearly violated a professional and personal boundary.”

He said he would finish the remainder of his term, which runs through the end of the year, because he’s the right person to lead the city of about 200,000 in northeastern Ohio.

Moneypenny said the inappropriate behavior occurred in his council office in late May. Moneypenny was Mayor Don Plusquellic’s hand-picked successor when he announced he’d be retiring after nearly 28 years in office.

A former police chief and high-ranking officer in the Summit County Sheriff’s Department, Moneypenny had intended to run in the Democratic primary in September. A victory in the race in heavily Democratic Akron would have likely assured Moneypenny of a victory in the November general election.

Moneypenny said the encounter with the employee would have been made public during a campaign. The woman reported it to the city’s human resources department.

“It was not a secret,” Moneypenny said. “It was not going to stay a secret.”

Moneypenny hesitated before saying he did not think he would run for elected office again. He apologized to his wife of 25 years, to the mayor’s cabinet and to the city during the news conference.

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