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Matt Brown is seen canvassing for mayor in this 2014 file photo.

GEOFF ROBINS/The Globe and Mail

The mayor of London, Ont., is temporarily stepping aside after admitting a brief "inappropriate personal relationship" with the deputy mayor.

Matt Brown said Tuesday in a statement that during a period of intense workload, he developed "a close working relationship and ultimately an inappropriate personal relationship with Deputy Mayor Maureen Cassidy."

Cassidy resigned as deputy mayor on Tuesday and used a news conference to appeal for privacy as she worked with her family "to rebuild the trust that has been broken."

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Brown also asked the media and community to respect "the need of my wife and children for some privacy as we work through this difficult time."

Both Brown and Cassidy said they regret the pain and embarrassment they have caused their families, with Brown saying his wife was extremely angry with him when he told her of the "affair."

Brown said he would be meeting with the integrity commissioner on Thursday, saying he realized there would be many questions related to his personal and my professional life.

"While I do not believe my relationship with the deputy mayor resulted in any breach of my professional responsibilities as mayor, I nonetheless want to obtain his opinion to ensure that there are no issues," Brown said.

"I will abide by any decisions or recommendations of the commissioner," he said

"I intend to spend more time with my children and my wife in the coming weeks. I'm taking some time away over the next little while and I will return to my other duties when we're ready," Brown added.

Cassidy said she could "never apologize enough" to her family for allowing her relationship with the mayor to cross "a professional boundary."

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