A City Councilman in Washington, Pennsylvania, claims he didn't know the city's transit alert system was live when he used it to email a test message informing subscribers interested in public transportation updates that his college friend Bryan "is gay."

Councilman Matt Staniszewski was rebuked by Mayor Brenda Davis, who called his actions "completely inappropriate and unprofessional coming from an elected official."

She noted that Staniszewski tried to excuse his use of the word "gay" by telling fellow council members "we all know that the word means happy."

Jimmy Kimmel, who called the incident "one of my favorite stories in a while," said the councilman's excuse is great "if you're in the fourth grade."

Staniszeweski is apparently sticking by his defense, going so far as to release a statement saying it was "offensive and unprofessional for the mayor to automatically assume one definition of the word when there are multiple definitions."

He did attempt to backpedal a bit by saying he thought the system was "still in a testing environment" and "was not aware" it was live.

Semantics however, might be the least of Staniszewski worries.

This week's incident brought to light Staniszewski's position on the board of directors for nTouch Inc. — the company contracted to provide the city's transit authority with IT services — and the mayor believes the councilman's stake in the company's financial success is worth looking into.

[H/T: Towleroad, screengrab via WPXI]