What do you hear? The Tampa legislative assistant is accused of having a rude word on her mouth during the meeting – but she claims it was just coughing and sneezing
- Aide Carrie Henriquez sparked controversy at the Tampa council meeting on Thursday
- She coughed as she walked behind councilor Luis Viera, her boss's rival
- But many in the room heard the word & # 39; a ** hole & # 39; that was expressed under the cough
- Henriquez strongly denied swearing and said it was coughing and sneezing
- Video from the municipal council meeting captured the controversial moment
Tampa city councilor Carrie Henriquez denies that her cough covers a curse
A legislative assistant in Tampa, Florida has provoked controversy with an ambiguous cough at a city council meeting, with some accusing her of being the & # 39; a ** hole & # 39; to call.
Assistant Carrie Henriquez was caught on video at Thursday's city council meeting, behind Luis Viera, the arch rival of her boss on the council, just as she bursts into a coughing tune.
Henriquez continues in the council chamber and coughs again. Viera makes a shock for councilor Guido Maniscalco, the boss of Henriquez.
& # 39; Did she just say something? & # 39; Viera says to Maniscalco.
Henriquez violently denies saying anything, realizing that she was trying to suppress her cough until she could leave the council room not to disturb the meeting.
Help from the Tampa City Council Carrie Henriquez coughs while walking right behind city council president Luis Viera during a meeting on Thursday
Viera looks shocked and asks: & # 39; Did she say something? & # 39; when Henriquez leaves the room
& # 39; I didn't say any words. I coughed. I sneezed. I coughed. I sneezed, & she said to the Tampa Bay Times.
& # 39; I can sometimes be salty, but I would never do anything to jeopardize the reputation of the councilor (Maniscalco) or my husband's good name, & # 39; she added.
Henriquez is married to Hillsborough County Property Appraiser Bob Henriquez.
Viewers of the town hall point to possible hostility that Henriquez might have for Viera, who outsmarted her boss Maniscalco earlier this month in a presidency competition.
Henriquez would stand in line for a salary increase if Maniscalco had succeeded the presidency, causing some to speculate on a case of sour grapes.
Maniscalco told the Times that he first had the & # 39; the a-word & # 39; heard when Henriquez coughed.
After the meeting, he said he confronted his staff member, but she denied saying anything.
& # 39; She looked at me like I was crazy, & # 39; he said.
Henriquez & # 39; s boss Guido Maniscalco (left) challenged Viera (right) for the position of the chair earlier this month, but lost – and Henriquez lost on a wage blow in the process
Maniscalco said he did not initially believe her, but then remembered how easily things can sometimes be misunderstood.
Elton John & # 39; s number Tiny Dancer from 1971 came to mind the counsel, whose lyrics have often been misinterpreted over the decades as & # 39; Hold me closer, Tony Danza. & # 39;
& # 39; I have heard that song hundreds of times and I still misunderstood it & # 39 ;, said Maniscalco.
& # 39; There are also different Beatles songs. I believe her. Sometimes we hear a song and we think we know the lyrics. & # 39;
Viera declined to comment, saying that the incident is being investigated.
However, Henriquez told the Times on Tuesday that she had not been informed of an investigation and the Human Resources director of the city refused to confirm or deny that the ambiguous cough was under investigation.
& # 39; If the city was investigating such a case, we would not comment and there would be no public documents that could be released during an active investigation, & # 39; Crum wrote in an e-mail reply to the Times public archive request.
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