Embattled Brampton mayor Susan Fennell is taking a temporary leave from her job.

In a statement released Wednesday, Fennell said her husband has been admitted to hospital for heart surgery and she is stepping away from her mayoral duties during the “initial stages of his recovery”.

It’s unclear when she will return to the job.

Her temporary absence was announced ahead of a Wednesday Brampton city council meeting where some councillors hoped to question the mayor about her salary.

Council learned this week that Fennell asked the city treasurer to withhold her pay for the last two months of 2013. As a result she would no longer be the highest paid mayor in Canada.

In November, council voted overwhelmingly to have full forensic audits done for the expenses of Fennell and councillors.

The vote, and subsequent audit, was prompted when figures released that month showed Fennell had incurred $186,000 in expenses over the past three years.

With files from Erin Criger