2006-04-21 / Community

Second Allegation Of Smith Coffee-Toss Arises

Senator, Lawyer Take On TV Host In 'Strange' Interview
By Howard Schwach


It sometimes seems that everything she does puts State Senator Ada Smith into the spotlight, usually with a negative connotation.

Just weeks ago, Smith was charged by an aide with throwing a scalding cup of coffer at her, pulling her hair and threatening to kill her should the aide tell what happened.

Then, just a week later, she was taken from a Washington, D.C.-bound aircraft at the Albany (NY) airport for refusing to stow her carry-on luggage and then having a raucous altercation with the flight attendants on the plane.

Now, a second person, Dasil Velez, a fundraiser for Democratic causes and a member of Mayor Mike Bloomberg's transition team said in an interview that Smith threw coffee at him more than a decade ago at an event in the state capitol.

"She threw [the coffee] at my back and I don't even know why," Velez recently told New York Times reporter Michael Cooper. "When I turned around, she was standing there, glaring at me, and I couldn't figure it out."

Smith went on television on Sunday, accompanied by her attorney, Ravi Batra, to provide her side of the story to newsman Andrew Kirtzman.

Smith, however, who is often called "The Wild Woman of Albany" because of her behavior, hardly got a word in edgewise.

The first question from Kirtzman to Smith was, "Senator, I never thought I'd have to ask a politician this question on the air, but do you have a problem controlling your temper?"

Before Smith could answer, however, Batra interrupted her by saying, "Oh, that's not a nice question." Smith never did answer that question or many others put to her by Kirtzman.

At one point, the reporter said to Batra, "With all due respect, I don't understand why the senator's come on this show when you're going to do all the talking."

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