State senator apologizes after confrontation with colleague at Capitol
BATON ROUGE- It was your typical law-making discussion inside the Hainkel room, during a senate committee on Monday.
"Nothing outside of the norm, It was a discussion about Senate Bill 193, there was some debate about it," Dadrius Lanus, EBRPS board president, said.
Several East Baton Rouge officials and law makers from other parishes spoke against Senator Stewart Cathey's Senate Bill 193.
It's a bill that would take $7.5 million in tax revenue coming from certain railroad collections in East Baton Rouge Parish and re-distribute the funds to all parishes throughout the state.
Cathey deferred his bill, which will be discussed more next week, but that's when things got heated.
"I have never encountered anything like that," Sen. Regina Barrow, said.
Soon after the meeting, Cathey verbally attacked Barrow.
"He had literally almost passed me by, and turned around, pointed his finger in my face, and cursed, with his finger in my face with this real irate temper and tone of voice," Barrow said.
Cathey apologized on the senate floor hours later.
"Because of my passion, I may have gotten have gotten a little aggressive with one of my colleagues. For that I apologize," Cathey said.
That apology is falling on deaf ears. Including Barrow's, who came up and spoke out about what happened, saying she will not immediately accept his apology. Sen. Bodi White, who witnessed the verbal altercation, also spoke out.
"Nobody gets more passionate about your bills than me, but you've never seen me cuss one of you, or talk to one of you like that," White said.
Lanus also witnessed the exchange, he says what went down in the capitol hallways should never happen again.
"Any type of conversation, debate, back and forth, those type of things can happen behind closed doors. But respect and integrity always have to happen as those types of conversations take place," Lanus said.
Barrow says she will always remember the incident, and for now will only work with him when it's essential.
Cathey did not respond to phone calls, or emails requesting a comment.
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