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OPINION: Is it really an apology if your lawyer issues it and doesn't reveal your name?

Maybe not?
An unidentified man spit on elevator buttons in the Meccanica condominium building in East Vancouver. Photo: @MarieHui on Twitter

A small drama played out over social media then through a lawyer's statement this past week, after a man got caught spitting on an elevator's buttons in Mt Pleasant.

Who is this man? We have no idea.

However we do know that he owns a unit in the Meccanica building where the spitting occured and was caught on the elevator's security camera.

We know this partly because someone in the building shared it on Twitter, then because his laywer issued a statement on the man's behalf, in which he says he was "horrified at my own actions, which are reprehensible and inexcusable."

Also, "I am employed, have never had any issues with law enforcement and am otherwise a good, law-abiding citizen. I can’t explain my own actions in this situation. A public apology is not enough in this case. It is difficult to express how horrified I feel about my conduct, especially given the pandemic that worries everyone. I do sincerely apologize to the residents of the building as well as the general public."

The unnamed man goes on to say that he's sorry, and that "As part of my apology, I will make a meaningful donation to the strata council to more than cover the cost of extra sanitation required and to reassure other residents that I never intended to harm anyone," he said. "I will also seek professional counseling. There is really no way to make this right. All I can do is express how sorry I am that this happened and to assure nothing like this will ever happen again."

The statement his lawyer distributed reads less like someone who is genuinely sorry and more like someone who doesn't want the strata to force him to sell his unit due to some clause that maybe prevents people from doing things that could possibly endanger people who live in the building.

It's nice to admit you did something wrong, but getting your lawyer to speak on your behalf, and not identifying yourself, seems to be an ill-advised approach.

The public wants to tar and feather the dude, and he would have been better served to simply issue the apology to the other strata members, revelaing his identity, and not the community at large.

According to a non-scientific poll on Twitter, this wasn't a proper apology.