A councillor who admitted asking a grandmother if he had “slept with her” faced fresh criticism after he was elected as Hartlepool’s new Ceremonial Deputy Mayor.
Labour Coun Kevin Cranney faced complaints and made local and national headlines earlier this year over the comment to a member of the public at the end of a heated public meeting.
He was also the subject of a council investigation after it was alleged he tried to approach Putting Hartlepool First’s Coun David Riddle following a verbal exchange at a meeting in October.
Independent Coun Jonathan Brash said: “For him to be rewarded by the Labour-Tory coalition in this way is a disgrace.
“It seems that no matter the wrongdoing, no matter the evidence, no matter the embarrassment brought to his organisation, he still manages to get elected to a senior position.”
Coun David Riddle said: “I was frankly appalled by the decision to make Councillor Cranney Deputy Mayor, he is a disgrace and not fit for public office.”
And Independent Seaton Carew councillor Paul Thompson added: “The man has been subject to a number of investigations for inappropriate behaviour over the last 12 months.
“We seem to have replaced one embarrassment of a civic leader with another one.”
But Coun Cranney, who represents Foggy Furze, said he had strong local support.
He said: “The proof is in the pudding. I was re-elected by a large majority.
“The majority of people are supportive of me. I am there to support the mayoress.”