Last spring, GOP Rep. Susan Emerson accused House Speaker Bill O’Brien of yelling and swearing at her when he objected to her House budget bill amendments.
He was three inches from my face and started screaming at me that he had forbidden a Republican to put any amendments in. … The Sergeant at Arms from the Senate, who is a retired state trooper, came and stood next to me because he thought O’Brien was going to hit me.
In an interview with Kevin Landrigan last month, O’Brien flatly denied the altercation ever took place and said she made it all up.
“There were no loud voices, no abuse, no bullying. We were having a conversation, and I made clear to her the House was not going to adopt any of her amendments,” O’Brien said.
“She was emotional about it, but not because of anything I said. It pains me to this day to say Rep. Emerson has fabricated all of this,” O’Brien added.
Last week, the Senate sergeant-at-arms backed-up Emerson in testimony before the House committee investigating the incident.
Doug Wyman, who was the sergeant-at-arms for the Senate last year, corroborated Emerson’s account last week, according to members of the House Constitutional Review and Statutory Recodification Committee.
Wyman said O’Brien and Bettencourt had Emerson backed up to a wall, according to legislators at the hearing. He heard the yelling through a closed door, opened it to investigate and sent O’Brien and Bettencourt on their way, they said.
A contingent from the Alvirne High School chorus, who were singing the National Anthem that day, also witnessed the fracas. The director confirmed Emerson’s account to Rep. Lee Quandt.
I also had the chance to talk to the Alvirne choir director who re-affirmed the attack on Susan did take place.
O’Brien had accused “Democratic Party operatives and union member Republicans” of creating the “false story” to discredit his record of accomplishment. He has not responded to the accounts from the sergeant-at-arms and choir director.