‘Careless mistake’: Edmonton councilor apologizes for retweeting post calling police officer ‘pig’

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Coun. Michael Janz has apologized for retweeting a social media post that referred to a police officer as a “pig.”

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In a series of tweets Tuesday afternoon, Janz said that on May 29, he retweeted a post that referred to an unidentified Calgary police officer using a “derogatory term” and quickly deleted it, but not before it was viewed by members of the public.

Janz said in an interview with Postmedia he didn’t notice the word “pig” in the tweet, and as soon as it was brought to his attention, he deleted his retweet.

“I have friends and family who are law enforcement,” Janz said. “I don’t use the word pig. I didn’t see the word. It was a careless tweet and a tiny little oversight. And of course, I apologize if someone was offended by this.

“It was just a careless mistake.”

The retweet prompted an investigation by the city’s integrity commissioner Jamie Pytel after a formal complaint was filed against Janz.

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A screenshot of the tweet provided in the complaint shows a post by a Calgary Twitter user, stating: “So this week a coworker got a $409 ticket for failing to stop his bike at a stop sign. It was 7 am in a residential area, the roads were empty, except for the pig hiding in the bushes. The person who hit me with her car got a $47 ticket for failing to signal. Seems fair.”

The complaint, obtained by Postmedia, alleged the retweet was a violation of the code of conduct policy requiring city councilors’ communications, including on social media, be “respectful and do not discriminate harass, or demonstrate disrespect toward any person” and that communications not be misleading.

“Mr. Janz has an open agenda of hate towards the Edmonton Police Service. This is clearly evident throughout his posts by him on Twitter, ”the complaint states.

Janz said he was notified last week by Pytel that seven complaints had been filed against him for the retweet, and it was the integrity commissioner’s interpretation that a retweet is the same as an endorsement.

“I talked to the integrity commissioner, and I said I would apologize and this would bring the whole thing to a conclusion,” he said, adding Pytel will bring a summary report of the investigation to city council.

“I’m not going to let this determine me from my work at council and building a police service that we can all be proud of.”

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