February 11, 2019

Embattled Stewart resigns N. Britain Chamber of Commerce post

HBJ File Photo
HBJ File Photo
Timothy Stewart has resigned as president of the Greater New Britain Chamber of Commerce after drawing widespread criticism for a misogynistic comment he made on Facebook.

Timothy Stewart, the former mayor of New Britain, has resigned as president of the city's chamber of commerce amid backlash from a Facebook post he made that was widely denounced as misogynistic.

Stewart, the father of the city's current mayor, Erin Stewart, in a Facebook post following the State of the Union speech last week commented on a photo of 50 female members of Congress wearing white -- to honor the suffragette movement -- as "Bitches in Heat."

Among those pictured were two Connecticut congresswoman, U.S. Reps. Jahana Hayes and Rosa DeLauro.

The Republican, who drew widespread criticism from both Democratic and Republican lawmakers, apologized for his comment on Wednesday before he was eventually pushed out from his post Saturday leading the Greater New Britain Chamber of Commerce (GNBCC).

"My comment was wrong and in a poor taste in response to a particular time during the speech that I took offense to," Stewart wrote on Facebook. "This in no way excuses my behavior and I am deeply sorry to not only the women in my life but to all women for the remark."

Stewart, the city's mayor from 2003 to 2011, also stepped down from the New Britain School Building Committee and the Mattabassett District Commission.

In a statement Saturday, GNBCC Chairman Gennaro Bizzarro said he accepted Stewart's resignation as president and "thanked Tim for his years of service…" and "wished him well in his future pursuits."

Bizzarro said the chamber was "rocked" by the fallout of Stewart's Facebook post, and placed him on administrative leave hours after his comment surfaced, expressing their "profound disappointment in his inexcusable language."

Bizzarro said the resignation resulted after GNBCC over 72 hours mulled a succession plan and received feedback and comments from the chamber's constituents.

"We moved swiftly to address this situation," Bizzarro said. "I appreciate that Tim has stepped forward so as not to put the chamber or our members through additional distress."

In separate posts on Twitter, New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart, who considered a run for governor last year and ran for lieutenant governor, said she was "embarrassed and mortified" by her father's Facebook comment and "proud" of him for "doing the right thing" by resigning on Saturday.

"I can't wait until the day when I get to tell my story," the mayor said in a Twitter post Monday morning.

This was not Timothy Stewart's first off-color comment on Facebook.

In Nov. 2017, the former mayor on Facebook commented "the inmates are running the neighborhood" on a post about blight in the city's North Oak corridor. He apologized for the comment soon after.

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