State legislators apologize after bar fighting

Drew White and Paul Braun, LSU Manship School News Service
Rep. Stuart Bishop, R-Lafayette, apologized to his fellow legislators on the House floor for a physical altercation with Sen. Norby Chabert, R-Houma.

State Rep. Stuart Bishop, R-Lafayette, issued an apology to his fellow lawmakers Wednesday morning for engaging in a fist fight with another state legislator after a report from The News Star surfaced about the incident.

Bishop said that he and State Sen. Norby Chabert, R-Houma, “had a disagreement and it got physical.” The fight reportedly took place in a downtown Baton Rouge bar Tuesday night because the two had a dispute over legislation.

Bishop took to the House floor on personal privilege to comment on the altercation.

“I truly apologize if I did anything to upset y’all or make y’all look bad because the integrity of this body is one thing that I cherish and one thing I hold very dear,” Bishop said.

“I feel like it was unbecoming of a gentleman and unbecoming for a member of this House,” Bishop added.

According to The News Star, police were called but no arrests were made.

Bishop referred to the incident as a “gentleman’s disagreement” and mentioned that a couple hundred years ago men used to settle disputes with dueling guns.

“I apologize, and I would like to say I would hope it wouldn’t happen again,” Bishop said in his closing comments. “The next time it’ll just be dueling guns.”

Chabert apologized for the altercation on the Senate floor Wednesday afternoon.

“Rep. Bishop and I are like brothers, and we feel very passionate about the issues we both have fought so hard for, and we are going to continue to fight,” Chabert said. “Every now and then, like brothers, you go to a place you shouldn’t go. We’re both better men than that.”

According to the initial report from The News Star, Bishop said Chabert “punched him several times” and that he did not fight back.

“I humbly apologize to the people in this chamber, the people across the hall and the citizens of the state of Louisiana.” Chabert said.

“There aren’t many words you can say when you find yourself in situation like this that really can redeem you,” Chabert acknowledged. “I think that we can get past this.”

Chabert stated that he and Bishop will remain friends and that he is ready to get back to the important issues up for consideration in the final days of the regular session.

Originally published May 16.