Florida legislator accuses fellow lawmaker of bullying

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By: Associated Press
February 12, 2019

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- A South Florida lawmaker is accusing a fellow Democratic legislator of bullying her at a meeting of party leaders, but the other lawmaker says the exchange is being mischaracterized.

Florida Rep. Anika Omphroy on Monday wrote a letter to the Florida House speaker saying that Rep. Carlos Smith lashed out at her with "verbal assaults."

Jose Oliva, the Republican House speaker, referred the matter for an investigation.

Smith tweeted that the details in Omphroy's letter are false. The central Florida lawmaker says they had a tense conversation, but he is stunned and confused by her letter.

“I can have a reasonable conversation with any Democrat and Republican about any issue, even when we disagree. But, I also do so in a professional and respectful manner. The allegations she’s putting forward are simply not true, but I want to hear from her and I want to hear more about why she feels the way that she feels,” said Smith.

A witness, Rep. Anna Eskamani, says the encounter happened Saturday after Omphroy spoke out against a resolution encouraging broader financial disclosures.

Omphroy didn't respond to a call and email to her office.

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