2006-04-07 / Community

Smith Censured, Loses Senate Perks

By Howard Schwach

Amid new charges that State Sena-tor Ada Smith was ordered removed from an airline flight from Albany to Washington (D.C.) last month, Sen-ate Minority Leader David Patterson has taken action against her for "de-meaning her office, our {Democratic] conference and each member of the Senate."

That action includes stripping Smith of her $9,500 annual stipend for work on the Senate Corporations Committee, took away her state-provide car and restricted her access to Senate staff.

Smith, who represents Broad Channel in the State Senate, was ar-rested two weeks ago for allegedly throwing a scalding hot cup of coffee at an aide who asked about the pro-gress Smith was making on her diet.

Published reports say that Smith was booted off a United Express flight after an angry confrontation with a flight attendant when Smith allegedly refused to put her luggage in the overhead rack of the aircraft.

The report says that the flight at-tendant went to the plane's captain and complained of Smith's abusive behavior and she was removed from the plane. After the incident, the report says, Smith told airport officials that she was having chest pains and an ambu-lance was called.

A spokesperson for the airport con-firmed that a passenger was thrown off the flight but declined to confirm that it was Senator Smith.

"The passenger refused to comply with the Federal Aviation Agency rules about luggage," the spokesper-son said. "A decision was made to ask the passenger to disembark the air-craft."

In a prepared statement, Patterson said, "The Senator has abused mem-bers of her staff with profanities on and off the Senate floor, made de-rogatory and salacious remarks about members of the staff and her col-leagues and acted beyond the scope of her authority in her dealings with members of the central staff." Smith pled guilty two years ago to running a State Police security checkpoint in Albany and has previ-ously been accused of biting a cop and assaulting another aide with a butcher knife.

Smith was unavailable for comment to The Wave.

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