Politics & Government

SC lawmaker hires lawyer, says she was ‘assaulted’ by another House member

S.C. Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter, D-Orangeburg, says she has hired an attorney after she was “attacked and assaulted” during a confrontation with another lawmaker.

Cobb-Hunter tells the Orangeburg Times and Democrat an unnamed attorney will collect statements from witnesses to her May 11 confrontation with fellow Orangeburg Democratic Rep. Jerry Govan.

Cobb-Hunter described the incident to the Orangeburg paper as “literally twisting my arms and my wrist and pushing me.” Govan has insisted to The Associated Press that he didn't initiate the physical contact.

The S.C. House of Representatives investigated the incident, which broke out during a discussion of a bill to consolidate Orangeburg County school districts. That investigation ended last week without any punishment.

Cobb-Hunter said she was disappointed with the “patronizing tone” of the letter from Speaker Jay Lucas, R-Darlington, that concluded the case, which she thought assigned equal blame for the incident. Lucas’s letter cited a lack of clear evidence about who initiated the physical contact.