An earnest 17-year-old intern recently attended an Appropriations Committee hearing at the Connecticut state Capitol to testify about a program that helped her come out of her shell and get over her fear of snakes.
"If you're bashful I got a snake sitting under my desk here," Connecticut state Rep. Ernest Hewett (D) joked in response. Come again?
He later apologized and said, "In hindsight, I can really see how this can be misconstrued as something sexual," but neglected to mention exactly what he was going for at the time. We need to know! Did he really have a snake under his desk? That doesn't seem to be the case.
You can hear him on tape above (care of The Day) at around 3:10.
"I am usually a very shy person, and now I am more outgoing," the girl told the committee. "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."
Maybe now she'll want to stay away from human beings and work with reptiles instead.
After Speaker of the House J. Brendan Sharkey (D) heard the recording, he stripped Hewett of his deputy speaker title. "After I first heard about it, I thought maybe in the broader sense maybe he was misunderstood and it may not be that big a deal," Sharkey told the Connecticut Post.
Connecticut Republican party chairman Jerry Labriola Jr. said in a press release that Sharkey only gave Hewett a "slap on the wrist" and that he should "save the legislature some valuable time and make the decision to step down himself," so it doesn't look like we've heard the last word on Snakegate yet.