Lobbyist Scott Levanway issued a statement in response to Harrison County Supervisor Beverly Martin calling him out for inappropriate sexual comments at a social gathering last week.
Martin said Levanway made the comment when Martin was about to introduce another supervisor, Kent Jones, at a Mississippi Association of Supervisors conference in Jackson last week.
Levanway, who served as a lobbyist for Biloxi and Gulfport in the past, issued a statement to the media saying he made an “ill-advised and totally unacceptable comment that was intended as a joke.”
When asked for comment about the statement, Martin said, “That was very upstanding of him. I’m glad he did that.”
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He has not apologized directly to her, Martin said.
Levanway went on to say it was totally out of character and doesn’t reflect his respect for Martin or their long-standing friendship.
“I hope that she can forgive me. My parents taught me that a good man takes responsibility for his mistakes and then makes them right,” Levanway went on to say in the statement. “While I cannot erase the offense, I am taking full responsibility. And while I cannot make it right, and will not attempt to justify it, I will learn from it. And I will redouble my life-long commitment to respecting women and behaving in a way that reflects my true values.”
Martin said, “I’ve known him for 15 to 20 years, which made it even more bizarre. It was really out of character for the man I know.”
Levanway worked for a time for Martin’s husband, former Treasure Bay Casino manager Bernie Burkholder, who called Levanway after he heard about what happened.
The incident happened amid a firestorm of sexual harassment and inappropriate sexual conduct allegations that have been made public in politics, media and the entertainment industry.