More than 130 people have signed an online petition calling for the resignation of Malden City Council President Jadeane Sica, after she hosted a large family party in a parking lot last week. Critics say the event drew some 50 people, in violation of COVID-19 social distancing protocols.
Sica, in a lengthy Facebook post Friday, issued an apology that said in part, “I am guilty. Yup, I said it, I’m guilty. Let me explain.”
Like many parents, she wrote, she’s struggled with the pandemic’s affect on her children, a high school senior and an older daughter who just turned 21. So last week on Wednesday night, she wrote, she decided to hold a gathering to mark her older child’s birthday.
“We had a little parade, mostly my family, some friends,” she wrote. “Since my street is small we met up in the back parking lot of Mixx 360 (with the permission of the owner). We were there maybe 30 mins or so.”
Sica said the revelers had no intention of being there longer than an hour, and that the party included a DJ who’s a family friend. And, the councilor wrote, some folks may have gotten too close to one another.
“Were there some people closer than 6 feet together? Sure, people who lived together most likely,” she wrote. “I won’t proclaim it was the most perfect execution of the social distancing guidelines. But I was surprised when someone called the police, who responded and just reminded us of the importance of observing such measures.”
The petitioners, however, want stiffer consequences for the elected official. The document had garnered 169 signatures by late Wednesday evening.
“Leaders lead by example, and Councillor Sica is telling the community with this action that COVID-19 is an inconvenience, not a serious threat to this community, nation, and planet,” the petition said. “Not only might this party become a spreading event for the coronavirus, but it has the effect of inspiring other such events, as community members say, ‘if the council president can have a party, I can too.’”
The petitioners said they’re asking “that she resign from her position immediately to demonstrate that she understands and accepts the consequences of her actions.”
In her written apology, Sica — whose Facebook profile background contained a message Wednesday that said “the longer you don’t comply with social distancing, the longer we’re going to have to do it” — gave no indication as to whether she’ll step down.
But she acknowledged the flap could tarnish her record.
“I’m proud as hell at how we’ve rallied as a community in this difficult time,” Sica wrote. “My thoughts and prayers are with those who have lost a loved one. While it’s disappointing to see someone motivated to embarrass me over this, I guess if I . . can finish my political career with this being the worst someone can say about me, I’ve probably done ok.”
Voice and e-mail messages left with Sica weren’t immediately returned Wednesday.