A candidate for Connecticut governor said she was dragged by police off the stage of a Democratic forum in Brookfield on Monday night.
Lee Whitnum, whose legal name is Lisa Baker, was arrested on charges of second-degree breach of peace and simple trespass.
The 57-year-old was not invited to the forum, according to police.
The Brookfield Democratic Town Committee's event was considered a private event, police said.
Whitnum was also advised by the vice chairman that she was not welcome at the event and was peacefully asked to leave several times.
However, police said she proceeded to create a disturbance.
She was arrested and later released on a $500 bond.
"I would be furious if my Democratic chair kept a candidate from me," Whitnum said in a statement. "The town Democratic chair is not there to be a screening agent. This was a town Democratic event, not a private television station event. The public was invited and the declared Democratic candidates are to appear. The invited does not say 'just a select few.' It says the Democratic candidates. I am one, and I should be there."
Whitnum said she declared her candidacy for governor more than a year ago and informed the Brookfield Democratic chair that she would attend, despite being told "no."
Channel 3 reached out to the Democratic town chair for Brookfield, but has not heard back.
The state Democratic party chair, Nick Balletto, issued a statement on Tuesday morning.
"We’re a big tent party, we invite all people from all walks of life to participate in our party and the electoral process," Balletto said. "But based on Lee Whitnum’s behavior [Monday night], and based on her behavior in the past, it’s clear that Lee Whitnum should not hold elected office and does not represent the Democratic Party, nor should she participate in events at the local or statewide level.”
Whitnum is scheduled to face a judge on April 19 at Danbury Superior Court.
Whitnum is no stranger to political controversy.
In 2012, She generated headlines during her debates for the Senate seat now held by Sen. Chris Murphy. She criticized Murphy for his support of Israel.
Gov. Dannel Malloy filed a protective order against Whitnum in 2012. Whitnum filed a suit in 2010 before he was governor, claiming he was wrong to call comments she made anti-Semitic.
She also sued Secretary of the State Denise Merrill. She claimed she was ignored when asked questions about an election.
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