CONCORD – Rep. Martin Harty, a Barrington Republican, has resigned his House seat in the wake of fire he drew for remarks on mental illness and population control.
Harty, who turns 92 this month, came into spotlight last week after telling a voter during a phone call that he thought the best treatment for the mentally ill would be a one-way trip to Siberia.
He also said population growth and mental illness could be controlled with eugenics, a form of genetic engineering commonly associated with Hitler's Germany.
In his letter to Speaker of the House William O'Brien, Harty apologized not for what he said, but for the disruption he caused. Citing what he called "slightly unfavorable publicity" over his statements, he said "Sorry my big mouth caused this furor."
In resigning, Harty wrote, "I was just getting the hang of it some, but with all the slightly unfavorable publicity I've been getting the last few days, I'll never be an effective lawmaker. So I herby submit my resignation form the House. Sorry my big mouth caused this furor."
Last month, in a letter to Foster's Daily Democrat, Harty wrote, "so far I really don't know what I'm doing . The few votes I've made so far I really didn't know what I was voting for or against. Just looked at the people around me and went along with them."