The Latest: 2 legislators told to keep disagreements civil


COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – The Latest on a confrontation between two veteran South Carolina legislators (all times local):

3:30 p.m.

House Speaker Jay Lucas has warned two veteran South Carolina legislators not to let another disagreement turn physical.

Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter told The AP on Wednesday she’s offended by Lucas’ suggestion she and Rep. Jerry Govan were equally at fault.

Lucas advised both in a letter Tuesday to keep their future disagreements civil, saying he was unable to determine what happened May 11 because their accounts varied widely and no one saw how it started.

Cobb-Hunter says she held out her hand to keep Govan at bay, and he grabbed and twisted her wrist and pushed her. She says she had to keep ice on her swollen wrist for two days, and it’s still not healed completely.

Govan insisted to The AP he didn’t initiate the physical contact. But he would not give specifics.

The two veteran Orangeburg Democrats were disagreeing over legislation consolidating Orangeburg County schools.

1:30 p.m.

South Carolina’s House speaker is warning two veteran representatives whose argument last month escalated into some physical contact that they must keep their future disagreements civil.

Speaker Jay Lucas decided against punishing either Rep. Jerry Govan or Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter, saying in a letter Tuesday he was unable to determine what happened, because accounts varied widely.

The two Orangeburg Democrats were arguing May 11 in a hallway leading to the chamber over legislation consolidating Orangeburg County school districts. The bill was approved Tuesday.

Lucas calls Govan the “initial aggressor,” since he approached Cobb-Hunter as she was walking away from him.

The speaker says Govan should have avoided the confrontation entirely.

Cobb-Hunter did not immediately return messages Wednesday. Govan had no immediate comment.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.