The top Republican in the New York State Senate is calling for state Sen. Kevin Parker to be reprimanded after a controversial tweet to a GOP aide.
Parker, a Brooklyn Democrat, responded to a tweet written by Candice Giove, the Senate Republicans' deputy communications director. Giove published a tweet with photos that showed a vehicle parked in a New York City bike lane. An official placard was displayed in the vehicle, and Giove claimed the placard belonged to Parker.
In his reply, Parker wrote, "Kill yourself!" He deleted the tweet a short time later.
Parker posted an apology, but also criticized Giove in follow-up tweets.
"I sincerely apologize," he wrote. "I used a poor choice of words. Suicide is a serious thing and should not be made light of."
But Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, who leads the GOP conference, doesn't believe Parker's apology is enough. He called the now-deleted tweet "reprehensible." He also expressed anger that Parker would target one of his employees.
Parker's words, Flanagan said in a statement, are "beneath the state Senate."
"There is simply no place for discourse like this in politics, in government, or anywhere," Flanagan said. "Actions have consequences, and as a member of the incoming (Democratic) majority in the Senate, Kevin Parker should be reprimanded by his leadership immediately."
There is no indication Parker will face discipline for the tweet. The incoming Senate majority leader, Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, said she is "disappointed" with Parker's tweet. But she didn't say whether Parker would be reprimanded for his actions.
The state Legislature returns to Albany in January.