Newcastle City Councillor Jason Dunn says he did not release Lord Mayor Jeff McCloy’s explosive voice mail message to the media.

The message in which Cr McCloy compares the actions of Cr Dunn to behaving like a “petty little schoolgirl” was instead handed over to other councillors for consideration.

The audio was recorded in response to Cr Dunn questioning the authority of Cr McCloy’s chief of staff, Josh Hodges.

Cr McCloy says the voice mail was recorded in frustration as council was “being distracted from [its] $20 million deficit and other big things.”

Cr Dunn has lodged a code of conduct complaint against Cr McCloy, and refutes the Lord Mayor’s claim of pettiness, saying the Mayor’s reaction was “completely unacceptable”.