Hamilton deputy mayor Gordon Chesterman is threatening court action over comments made by a member of the public criticising councillors during hearings on the city authority's long-term plan.
The Herald understands a letter was sent on behalf of Mr Chesterman from Hamilton law firm Harkness Henry to retired Waikato University professor Michael Law on Monday night saying court action would be taken if an apology was not made for the comments.
The offending comments about councillors were made by Mr Law when he presented his submission during the draft long-term plan hearings in May.
In the submission, the Hamilton East resident accused the councillors "of a lack of transparency and on the part of a number of councillors with respect to their own personal and family interests".
"This lack of transparency speaks to a lack of moral integrity on the part of those who have clearly used their council position to advance the interests of themselves and/of family/or cronies," he said.
He also said they failed to declare major conflicts.
He added that such an "inept and fundamentally immoral cabal" didn't have the competence or confidence of citizens to develop a credible 10-year plan and called on them to resign.
After his submission, Mr Chesterman challenged Mr Law on his criticism of councillors and his "defamatory" comments.
Mr Law said last night he was not in a position to comment over the legal action, regarding which the Herald understands he has been given until July 5 to respond.
Mr Chesterman also declined to comment.
"There's a legal process that's being followed and from the advice of my lawyers I'm allowing that process to occur."
Hamilton mayor Julie Hardaker said it was inappropriate for her to comment, as it was a matter for the two people involved.By Nikki Preston Email Nikki