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By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter today apologized to a local newspaper columnist after his press secretary tweeted a rumor that she had unpaid parking tickets.

Daily News columnist Ronnie Polaneczky has written frequently about issues related to the Philadelphia Parking Authority.   Last week Nutter’s chief spokesman, Mark McDonald, posted a rhetorical question on Twitter — without naming Polaneczky — implying that she should have disclosed her previous parking tickets.

After a front page story this morning about McDonald’s tweet, Mayor Nutter said the tweet was a mistake and that he would personally apologize to Polaneczky.

“I want to apologize to her directly, on behalf of the city government and our administration,” he said.

Nutter said administration policy prohibits city workers from using social media to spread rumors.

“We don’t like it when it happens over on our side, and it’s not something that we should ever engage in on our side.  I think it was a mistake.  Rumors are not what we should engage in,” the mayor added.

Before serving in the Nutter administration, McDonald had been a reporter at the Daily News for more than two decades.

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