Connecticut state Rep. Ernest Hewett (D) was stripped of his post as deputy speaker this week after making a lewd comment to a 17-year-old girl during a committee hearing last month.
“I want to personally apologize to the young lady for the comments that I made,” Hewett said on Thursday, according to the New London Day. “I don’t know her name or where she is from, but I want to personally apologize to her.”
The remark came after the girl, an ambassador for the Connecticut Science Center, testified about how the ambassador program helped her overcome her shyness and get over her fear of snakes.
“I am usually a very shy person, and now I am more outgoing,” she said, per the London Day. “I was able to teach those children about certain things like snakes that we have and the turtles that we have. … I want to do something toward that, working with children when I get older.”
According to an audiotape of the hearing, Hewett then said: “If you’re bashful I got a snake sitting under my desk here.”
Hewett claimed on Thursday that he meant to say “if you are shy then I have an acre of land in the Everglades.”
Listen to the tape: