Aide to Connecticut Governor Resigns After Allegedly Making ‘Inappropriate Comments’ About Spread of HIV
Nancy Ahern (R), a New Haven alderwoman, resigned from her post as a constituent service aide to Connecticut Gov. John Rowland (R) on Thursday after allegedly making "inappropriate comments" to the director of an HIV/AIDS service group about who was responsible for the spread of HIV in the state, the Hartford Courant reports. Fred Hammond, executive director of the Interfaith AIDS Ministry of Greater Danbury, said that Ahern "blamed the spread of [HIV] in Connecticut on minority men and homosexuals" during a phone call he had with her on Wednesday to discuss funding for HIV/AIDS prevention programs. Dean Pagani, Rowland's chief of staff, asked Ahern to resign once Hammond's allegations surfaced. Pagani called Hammond on the governor's behalf to apologize for the remarks. Hammond said he was "pleased" with Rowland's response, but said "what he would really like to see is more money put into AIDS prevention programs." HIV/AIDS activists planned to rally outside of Ahern's New Haven home on Friday to call for her resignation from the board of aldermen. "We feel it is irresponsible, as an elected official in 2002, to exhibit this kind of bigotry," John Bonelli of the Connecticut Positive Action Coalition Inc. said (Budoff, Hartford Courant, 6/7).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.