By NANCY WEST, InDepthNH.org
BEDFORD – House Speaker Sherman Packard, R-Londonderry, started the day before the House session started Friday calling Rep. Anne Copp a “bitch” and ended the day issuing a public apology to her.
Before the third day of contentious House sessions got underway Friday at the NH Sportsplex in Bedford, House Clerk Paul Smith called on Rep. Copp, a Derry Republican, to wear a face mask.
“Rep. Copp. Rep. Copp, please have your mask on if you are walking around. Thank you,” Smith said.
Packard then can be seen on the streaming video of the session leaning over to Smith and saying, “She’s just a bitch.”
Rep. Copp did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
At 6:46 p.m., Packard issued a public apology, although earlier he met with Rep. Copp near one of the exits for a private conversation.
“Earlier today before the session had officially started, I referred to a member of this House in a highly inappropriate manner,” Packard said in an emailed statement.
“I want to apologize in a sincere manner to this member and to the House. I let the stress and anxiety of this event get the best of me, and I said something I would not want any member of this House to say about a fellow member, or any person. I want you all to know that I feel terrible about this situation, and I want the member to know – and you all to know – that you all have my utmost respect,” Packard said.