Updated: Friday, 01 Mar 2013, 10:33 PM EST
Published : Friday, 01 Mar 2013, 8:05 PM EST
HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) -- A state lawmaker apologized after making what many are calling a lewd remark to a teenage girl. State Representative Ernest Hewett has been stripped of his role as deputy speaker of the House over the comment.
"Anybody that thought I meant something sexual by that, whereever their mind is, I don't want to go," said Rep. Hewett.
It happened at a legislative hearing. A 17-year-old student had just finished telling the comittee how she got over her fear of snakes by working at the science center and 5 term State Representative Ernest Hewett had a question.
"You're a great spokesperson for the Connecticut Science Center, it seems like a good investment for the state. Are there any questions? Yes, Representative Hewett," asked one woman.
"And if you're bashful, I've got a snake sitting under my desk here," Hewett said laughing.
"I have apologized to her for what was taken out of context. She has accepted my apology because remember, they were sitting in the room with their grandparents and they thought nothing of it," said Rep. Hewett.
But other lawmakers in the room at the time couldn't believe the comment.
"How did you take it when you were there," asked News 8's Bob Wilson.
"I was shocked. My jaw dropped, I could not believe that had just come out of his mouth and directed at a 17-year-old girl," said Democrat Rep. Mae Flexer, Killingly Plainfield.
The statement has some republican lawmakers calling for his resignation. Hewett says since the hearing last week, he has had a lot of support from some of his fellow democrats.
"I never know how many friends I really had behind me until now. Females, lots of females," said Rep. Hewett.
While Rep. Hewett says he has a lot of support from collegues at the LOB and Capitol, the House Speaker Sharkey stripped Hewett of his title of deputy speaker. He says when you walk these halls you are a representative for the state of CT and that comment just doesn't do it.
"I think it's tremendous that Speaker Sharkey acted as quickly as he did," said Rep. Flexer.
News 8 wanted to get a non political take on it and played the tape for people on their home from work.
"What do you think," asked News 8's Wilson.
"Oh my gosh," said one woman. "That's prolly mortifying. Pretty mortifying."
"What do you think when you hear that," asked News 8's Wilson.
"I probably wouldn't have gone there but now that it has been pointed out to me, it was sort of an inappropriate comment," said another woman.
The President and CEO of the Connecticut Science Center said in a statement Friday, "Representative Hewett emphatically apologized. We believe him to be sincere. We have passed his apology on to the student, and she has accepted it."
The head of the Connecticut Republican party is calling on Hewett to resign saying his comment was a 'disgrace and an embarrassment.'