Vermont Republican representative 'sorry' after being filmed pouring water in Democratic colleague's bag

A US Republican representative has said she is "truly ashamed" after being filmed pouring water into the bag of a Democratic colleague.

Mary Morrissey, a state representative from Vermont, has apologised to Jim Carroll for repeatedly pouring water in the tote bag he hung in a hallway at the Statehouse.

Mr Carroll, who like Ms Morrissey is from Bennington, a southwestern town of about 15,000 residents, described how at first he had noticed his bag being soaked a few times a week in January and February.

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Then, after he was charged with driving under the influence in February and returned from rehab, his bag was soaked almost daily, he said.

"It was relentless," Mr Carroll said, adding he was fairly confident it was Ms Morrissey, who he accused of often mistreating him.

He set up a video camera behind a scarf on the opposite wall to where his bag hung and captured Ms Morrissey pouring water from a glass into the bag on 23 April and 26 April.

The Democratic representative then showed the footage to House Speaker Jill Krowinski, who confronted Ms Morrissey with it.

"I am truly ashamed for my actions," Ms Morrissey said of "her disrespectful conduct".

Addressing the House on Monday, she apologised to the Democrat as well colleagues and the citizens of Vermont, saying she would be working toward "resolution and restoration".

But she has fallen short of giving an explanation as to why she kept soaking Mr Carroll's bag.

In response, Mr Carroll told the chamber he heard the sincerity in her voice but "for five months, I went through this," and Ms Morrissey had a choice each time she did it.

"It was torment," he said.

"This is a truly disturbing situation that is at odds with our legislative practices," Speaker Krowinski, a Democrat, said in a statement, adding any action which compromises "the integrity and decorum of our legislative proceedings" would be investigated.