PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A spokesman for Rhode Island House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello says the office is looking into reports that a state lawmaker from Providence bullied a witness at a public hearing on a bill that would exempt hair-braiding from state licensing requirements.

WPRI-TV reports at least two people have accused state Rep. Anastasia Williams of pushing and making threatening gestures toward a woman who was testifying Tuesday against the bill, which Williams sponsored.

Williams denies the accounts, saying had the incident actually occurred someone would have called police, not the media.

Witnesses told the television station that the woman was pushed and that Williams made a slashing motion across her throat and told the witness, “You’re done.”

The hair-braiding measure passed the House last year by a unanimous vote, but died in the Senate.


Information from: WPRI-TV, http://www.wpri.com