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Manhattan Assemblyman Danny O’Donnell apologizes to Catalina Cruz for ‘grow a pair’ remark

Assemblyman Danny O’Donnell ate crow Memorial Day weekend after getting roasted for telling a female colleague to “grow a pair, honey” at a committee hearing last week.

O’Donnell made the sexist remark after Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz (D-Queens) did not speak up at a Tuesday Codes Committee meeting where he protested a legislative maneuver that boosted a bill he opposes.

“In the heat of the debate, I made an off-the-cuff remark. I apologize to Assembly Member Cruz and I commit to maintaining better decorum during future committee engagements,” O’Donnell said in a statement.

Cruz did not provide comment Monday about O’Donnell’s contrition for the crude remark she blasted soon after he made it while stomping out of the meeting.

“I don’t care who is in here. I am a woman of color. I am an attorney. And to be spoken to like that by a man, by a white man, in front of people – it is not ok,” she said.

The apology contrasts with the defiance from two other Assembly Democrats accused of more serious misconduct in recent months they have either denied or declined to discuss publicly.

Danny O'Donnell standing in a suit with red tie in front of windows at night.
Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Former staffers have accused Assemblyman Pat Burke (D-Buffalo) of sexual harassment that includes making crude remarks as well as bragging about a pornographic video featuring his underage son and his girlfriends – charges Burke denies.

Two women have also accused Assemblyman Juan Ardila (D-Queens) of forcibly touching them while they were intoxicated at a 2015 party, including kissing one of them against her will while exposing himself.

Catalina Cruz with gesturing hands standing in front of other people at a podium on a staircase in the NYS Capitol.
Hans Pennink

Ardila no longer denies the allegations while declining to speak publicly about them as he fights widespread calls for his resignation.

Danny O'Donnell leaning over shoulder of Catalina Cruz who is sitting with other legislators at a committee meeting in a crowded, narrow, room.
New York State Assembly

The sexist remark by O’Donnell was less serious in nature, but relatively little matters like that can add up in the halls of power when they are not swiftly dealt with, according to Erica Vladimer, co-founder of the Sexual Harassment Working Group established by former legislative staffers.

“Harassment and discrimination always, always happen on a scale,” she previously told The Post.

“But no matter where any instance of harassment or discrimination happens on that scale, it needs to be addressed … when the smaller things are not addressed, that then allows this culture of nothing being addressed to then continue where even greater harm is caused.”