Humboldt County 3rd District Supervisor Mark Lovelace apologized Tuesday at the Board of Supervisors meeting for the “slap on the back” he gave to supervisors Rex Bohn and Virginia Bass at the annual California State Association of Counties conference.

”Some of what I said was trying to explain my frustration, and I think that came across as trying to justify my actions, which I can't,” Lovelace said. “No matter what might have transpired beforehand, there is only one person that is responsible for my own actions, and that's me.”

On Nov. 20, the Coastal Counties Regional Association that Lovelace has co-chaired for several years voted to appoint Bass as its new co-chair. After the meeting, Lovelace approached Bass and Bohn and delivered what he described as “perhaps an exaggerated, good-old-boy slap on the back.”

Bass said Lovelace's slap aggravated an existing shoulder injury.

”There's never justification for allowing a disagreement to become physical,” Lovelace said. “And while I didn't intend my slap on the back to be excessive, I regretfully admit that I had been.”

Lovelace, who also congratulated Bass on her appointment during the board meeting, said over the past week he's had a chance to see his actions through the eyes of others. He said he clearly let his frustrations get the better of him and acted inappropriately.

”All I can do is apologize and accept the consequences of my actions and hope that the two of you, the rest of you, and the community might forgive me for treating you both so disrespectfully and for seriously overstepping personal boundaries,” he said.

Bass, who represents the 4th District, responded by saying that she appreciates the apology, especially to the community. She noted that there would be an investigation -- and possibly a dismissal -- if a similar incident happened with county staff.

”We're elected, so we have different paths, so I think the apology is certainly along that path,” she said, adding “perhaps this isn't the time to talk about it, but I would be interested in further discussion in some anger management.”

Bohn, who represents the 1st District, said he wanted to thank Lovelace for his apology and that passions run deep when you're an elected official.

”I don't think you can fault anyone for their passions because they truly believe in them, and sometimes we get a little more involved than we should and everything else,” he said. “Even though we have different views, I think we admire everybody's passions because at the end of the day we're out there representing the districts and the people of Humboldt County to the best of our ability.”