The speaker of the New Brunswick legislature has issued a public apology for comments that an investigation deemed as harassing.
Chris Collins stood in front of the legislature building this morning, and spoke for the first time since news of the harassment allegations emerged four months ago.
Collins says while most of the allegations were not founded, a few related to comments he made that were perceived as inappropriate.
He says that while he saw the comments as humorous and inoffensive, others might not see them the same way, and for that he apologizes.
Premier Brian Gallant announced in early April that Collins was being suspended from the Liberal caucus, saying the premier’s office had been made aware of potential allegations of harassment in February, but the complainant didn’t come forward with allegations until two months later.
In May, Collins announced he would sit as an Independent while pursuing a case of libel and slander against the provincial government.
Collins declined to answer any questions Monday, and did not say if he’ll run in the provincial election on Sept. 24.
WATCH: N.B. premier remains tight-lipped after Speaker Chris Collins breaks silence on harassment allegations
The province’s Legislature Administration Committee voted along party lines Friday to sanction Collins after concluding, based on a third-party investigation, that harassment allegations were founded in part.
It asked for a written apology and harassment training.
Although Collins has been removed from caucus, he’s retained his duties as speaker until the writ drops later this summer.
It’s not known what actions the complainant was hoping to see against Collins, and they’ve since been moved to another department.
With files from Todd Veinotte