Horowhenua District Council mayor Michael Feyen says his resignation was demanded in an irate phone call from council chief executive David Clapperton last Thursday.
Mr Feyen said Mr Clapperton accused him of leaking an incomplete 'sensitive expenditure' audit report that described email blocking and alleged tampering at HDC.
"There is no way in the world an unelected person can go and tell me to put my resignation on the table. That's not lucid communication or conversation. I hung up in his ear," Mr Feyen said.
Mr Clapperton did not respond for comment before this paper went to press.
Mr Feyen last month asked Cr Ross Campbell to make a public statement about the report on his behalf and to release his statement to the media, according to minutes from HDC's finance, audit and risk committee.
Mr Feyen's request was overruled and the report was dealt with in committee.
Mr Feyen said he was not involved in the recent leak but was relieved people were finally starting to hear about things that needed changing at HDC.
Mr Feyen was one of a number of people whose emails were intercepted and forwarded to Mr Clapperton, RNZ has reported.
One email sent by a reporter to Mr Feyen when he was a councillor had its contents amended before it reached Mr Feyen, the station said.
"I have major concerns that emails people sent to somebody can be sent to somebody else, looked at, altered and changed.
"That can have very serious ramifications for us as a council and particularly when you look at legal matters we are involved in," Mr Feyen said.
"This has been going on for some considerable time for a number of years before I was mayor.
"I want a full inquiry into this. Who wouldn't, and I am working out how to go about that," he said.
Former mayor Brendan Duffy has confirmed to the Horowhenua Chronicle he knew of and supported blocking some emails when he was mayor.