Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Orangeburg Representative Jerry Govan is charged with assaulting Representative Gilda Cobb-Hunter, but he claims she hit him first.
"I didn't initiate the contact, I was struck in the face and obviously my response is where we are today,” Govan said.
He is facing one count assault third degree for an altercation with Cobb-Hunter back in May.
An arrest warrant states that the pair got into an argument in a back room at the State House.
Govan is accused of grabbing Cobb-Hunter's right wrist and twisting it, causing her to fall back.
The lawmakers, who both represent Orangeburg County, were reportedly arguing about a bill involving schools there.
“I am very saddened of the fact at it has risen to this level. The fact of the matter is that this was a situation as described I think accurately by the House investigation in which there was mutual contact between my colleague and myself,” Govan said.
He turned himself in Thursday morning and had his bond hearing not too long after. The hearing lasted less than four minutes and he waived his right to appear. His attorney appeared on his behalf.
He was given a 1,087.50 bond.
“It's an unfortunate situation, you know the people of Orangeburg County and the state expect better of us,” Govan explained. “I've tried to conduct myself and maintain the higher ground and move forward in this matter."
Representative Gilda Cobb-Hunter did not attend the hearing and said she has no comment on the matter.
"I fully expect to be exonerated,” Govan said.