Cincinnati Councilman Jeff Pastor misses meetings, requests privacy after family has ‘traumatic experience’

Cincinnati Councilman Jeff Pastor misses meetings, requests privacy after family has ‘traumatic experience’
Cincinnati City Councilman Jeff Pastor at a City Hall meeting in 2019.

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - A Cincinnati city councilman has missed a series of meetings in the last week and announced Tuesday his family has undergone a “traumatic experience" and requested privacy.

Jeff Pastor posted a statement on social media and his council office sent a copy of it to FOX19 NOW after we requested documents from the council clerk Tuesday morning showing his attendance.

We also requested comment from him multiple times but did not hear back.

The records released to us late in the day Tuesday show Pastor has missed a total of four meetings in the past week. Monday’s Neighborhoods Committee meeting, which he chairs, also was canceled.

One of the documents states Pastor’s chief of staff notified the council clerk he would miss a meeting on Thursday, Sept. 10 “for medical purposes.”

“Over the last several days, my family and I have experienced a traumatic event and have had to adjust our schedules and lives in order to successfully deal with it,” Pastor’s statement reads.

“My job as a husband and father is the most important job in my life. The honor and privilege of serving the citizens of Cincinnati as a City Councilmember is a heavy responsibility that I take seriously. I appreciate the grace and understanding I have received from my constituents and colleagues as I address my responsibilities as a father while working at City Hall. My beautiful children and wife mean the world to me.

“As my family deals with this traumatic experience and prepares for our new arrival, I want to express my thanks for your patience and respect for my family’s privacy. I want to express my thanks for patience and respect for my family’s privacy.”

His statement ends by saying his council office remains open “and committed to providing the best possible service to our city."

Early Tuesday, Vice Mayor Christopher Smitherman tweeted his support for Pastor and his family. He told FOX19 NOW he has no information and is praying for them.

Other council members also reached out via social media with words of encouragement and support.

“Please let me know if I can help. All my love to your family,” Councilwoman Betsy Sundermann said in a tweet.

“We are here for you. Let us know if there’s anything we can do. We’ll say prayers for your beautiful family and you,” Councilwoman Jan-Michele Kearney tweeted.

Missing meetings isn’t unusual for council member, and they are not required to explain why they are absent.

There also is no official attendance policy for council members.

Pastor began serving a four-year term in January 2018.

Pastor’s five-bedroom home in North Avondale was listed for sale at $695,000 in the last few days, according to online realty sites.

Our media partner at the Cincinnati Enquirer reported in 2018 Pastor’s then mentor and boss, who was seeking help from the city on sewer issues, purchased the property on his behalf.

Pastor told them at the time he was paying the mortgage and not beholden to anyone, including his mentor.

The property was sold to Pastor and his wife for $500,000 on April 25, 2018, according to property records.

FOX19 NOW will continue to update this story on air and all our digital platforms.

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