Sat. Jul 13th, 2024

Vermont lawmaker apologizes for repeatedly pouring water in colleague’s bag

By 37ci3 Jun19,2024

MONTPELIER, Vt. – A Republican state lawmaker from Vermont has apologized after he was filmed repeatedly pouring water into a Democratic colleague’s purse.

State Rep. Mary Morrissey publicly apologized to state Rep. Jim Carroll, her colleagues and the citizens of Vermont from the floor of the House of Representatives on Monday. Both are from Bennington, a city of about 15,000 in the southwest corner of the state.

“I am truly ashamed of my actions,” Morrissey said of his “disrespectful behavior” toward Carroll. He said he apologized directly to Carroll and would work to “resolve and make amends through the legislative process.”

Image: politics, political politician
This photo, taken from a video submitted by Vermont Rep. Jim Carroll, Democrat, shows Vermont Rep. Mary Morrissey, a Republican from Bennington, pouring water into the bag of Rep. Carroll, also a Democrat from Bennington, on April 26.Jim Carroll via AP file

In response, Carroll told the chamber that she heard the sincerity in his voice but had to say plainly, “I’ve been through this for five months,” and every time Morrissey did, he picked on it.

“It was agony,” he said.

Carroll told The Associated Press that the bag she hung in the hallway at the State House was soaked several times a week in January and February. She said she wet her purse almost every day after she was charged with drunken driving in February and returned from rehab.

“It was brutal,” Carroll said, adding that he’s fairly certain it was Morrissey, who he said often mistreated him. He installed a video camera behind a scarf on the opposite wall and filmed Morrissey pouring water from a glass into a bag on April 23 and 26. He then showed the footage to House Speaker Jill Krowinski, who confronted Morrissey.

“This is a truly troubling situation that is at odds with our legislative experience,” said Krowinski, a Democrat. He added that “the integrity and decency of our legislative process and lawmakers are of the utmost importance, and any action or behavior that violates these values ​​will be thoroughly investigated and dealt with.”

Morrissey did not say why he did it and did not respond to an email seeking comment.

Carroll told fellow lawmakers Monday that the first time he and Morrissey will sit down to talk will be awkward, “but we have to start somewhere.”

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By 37ci3

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