An already contentious State Board of Education meeting got more heated after a comment by board member, and former State Senator, Herb Rozell made a comment several women in the audience felt was sexist.Rudy posted audio of the exchange here.
After approving the hire of Jessica Russell as legislative analyst and liaison, who is pregnant and due in April, Senator Rozell made the comment that “if she has the baby and is gone for six weeks in May, she’s useless to us.” May is the last month of session when a lot of activity happens at the State Capitol.
Superintendent Barresi requested that the comment be stricken. Russell reportedly left the room in tears. Even though a short recess was called, Senator Rozell has not yet apologized to Russell for the comment.
Ironically, Board of Education member Tim Gilpin (who is heard in the recording) has the following posted on his law firm's website:
Apparently, part of Gilpin's law practice deals with job discrimination/harassment related to... pregnancy. Whoops.
Mike McCarville points out that Gilpin donated to Susan Paddack, Barresi's opponent in the election last year, and was a leading spokesman for the failed SQ744 campaign.
Gilpin rolls off the Board of Education in April.