Ohio Gov. John Kasich apologized Thursday to the police officer he called an "idiot" during a speech last month.
The governor met briefly at his office with Officer Rob Barrett, extending an apology to him and to law enforcement as a whole for his comments, according to WCMH-TV, the NBC affiliate in Columbus.
Kasich "apologized for using the term and said it was a wrong choice of words and a bad example," said Jim Gilbert, head of Columbus police union, who was also in the meeting. "The governor looked at me and apologized and said that he holds law enforcement in high regard."
The meeting, closed to media and the public, lasted only a few minutes.
In a YouTube video that has made the Internet rounds, Kasich is seen last month repeatedly describing a police officer who ticketed him for a traffic violation as "an idiot." Kasich was cited for passing too close to an emergency vehicle.
Officer Barrett told the Republican governor he could face an arrest warrant if he didn't show up in court.
"He's an idiot," Kasich said in the speech to state workers. "You just can't act that way."
The governor initially tried to apologize to Barrett over the phone, but the officer requested that Kasich meet with him in person, Gilbert told the Columbus Dispatch.
Also Thursday, Columbus Police released an official statement saying cruiser video shows that Barrett acted professionally during the traffic stop.
"Officer Barrett's actions were consistent with the division's core values of professionalism, respect, integrity, discipline, and enthusiasm, and reflect positively on himself and the Division of Police," the statement said.
Barrett has been ordered not to speak publicly about the incident.
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