After committee assignments were announced on Friday, Seliger went on a media spree to complain about his removal from the Committee on Higher Education, which he chaired in 2017. In response to Seliger’s media tour, a female staffer of the lieutenant governor told inquiring media that if he believed his new role as chair of Agriculture was beneath him, “he should let us know and the Lt. Governor will appoint someone else.”
Asked about the issue in a radio interview that was published Monday morning, Seliger then made a lewd comment, declaring he had “a recommendation for [the female staffer] and her lips and my backend.”
In a statement Tuesday, Patrick announced Seliger would no longer chair the committee:
Senator Seliger has been removed as Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee and will not be serving on that Committee. I met with Sen. Seliger earlier today and gave him an opportunity to apologize for a lewd comment he made on radio about a female staffer that has shocked everyone. He had 48 hours to apologize, but failed to do so. He has refused to take responsibility and outrageously, blamed the staffer and said she should be fired. To not be willing to apologize and suggest, somehow, that she had it coming is unimaginable.
After the announcement, Seliger responded by saying he should have directed his remarks towards Patrick, saying, “In hindsight I should have directed my response to the Lt. Governor and not to his messenger. And for that I apologize.”
Seliger did not, however, apologize for the nature or tone of his comments.
The decision came after a reported meeting between Patrick and Republican members of the Senate, prior to which Seliger was informed he was not invited.
According to Patrick, he will appoint a new chair for the committee “shortly”.