Updated: Thursday, 28 Feb 2013, 9:35 PM EST
Published : Thursday, 28 Feb 2013, 9:26 PM EST
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Five-term New London Rep. Ernest Hewett is losing his leadership title for a comment he made to a 17-year-old girl during a budget hearing.
The Connecticut Post reported Thursday that House Speaker Brendan Sharkey this week stripped Hewett of his deputy speaker title after hearing an audiotape of the comment, perceived as sexually harassing.
Hewett, a Democrat, will lose $6,446 in additional leadership pay.
The Post reported that Hewett had an exchange with the intern from the Connecticut Science Center, who said working at the center helped her overcome a fear of snakes. Hewitt allegedly made reference to a "snake" he had at his desk.
Hewett told the Post he wanted to apologize to his colleagues for the statement and understood how it could be misconstrued as sexual.
Information from: Connecticut Post