Vermont Politician Apologizes for Water Bag Prank

( – While childish pranks are not what most Americans expect of their elected officials, there is actually a long history of practical jokes in the nation’s hallowed halls. In the 1930’s John W. McCormack, who was later the Speaker of the House, hid a rubber snake in a fellow member’s desk. Representative Fiorello LaGuardia, who would later become Mayor of New York City, placed a bucket of ice water above a door that drenched a colleague.

In 2023, a Texas House committee was derailed when several suggestive fake names were submitted for public comment. However, these various acts of mischief are not always light-hearted or well-received.

Over a period of five months, Vermont Republican Representative Mary Morrissey made a habit of pouring water in Vermont Democrat Jim Carroll’s tote bag. Carroll habitually leaves it unattended in the House committee coatroom on a coat peg when not needed. For months he was nonplussed to find the bag wet when he came to retrieve it. Finally, he installed a small camera to catch out the prankster. In the footage Carroll can be seen checking the bag for wetness, leaving and then Morrissey following closely behind and pouring water into the bag

Morrissey offered a public apology for her actions. She described her behavior as disrespectful and unbecoming of her position as a state Representative. She added that she hopes she will be forgiven for her poor judgement. In reply Carroll acknowledged the sincerity of her apology but also described the five months of pranks as torment. He went on to say they would need to work together to serve their constituents the way they ought to. Both Morrissey and Carrol represent Bennington, Vermont.

Carroll claims he did not want to embarrass Morrissey, but as the story was already being publicly discussed he was concerned that not releasing the videos would only amplify speculation. Both he and Morrissey met with House Speaker Jill Krowinski and the Minority Leader Representative Pattie McCoy to discuss the matter. The House Ethics Committee has considered the situation and will pursue restorative justice actions. Speaker Krowinski commented that they are taking this situation seriously and that integrity and decorum is of paramount importance.

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