Trooper says Brooklyn Senator nearly hit him

Trooper says Brooklyn Senator nearly hit him
PBA, 2003-05-27

A New York State Trooper said he was nearly hit by State Sen. Ada Smith (D-Brooklyn) last week as she sped through a security checkpoint near the State Capitol in Albany. The Daily News newspaper of New York City published an article on the incident and included comments from the PBA’s Capital Region delegate. To read the story, click on the link below or refer to the text of the story below.

Senator Speedy

Cops say B’klyn pol zooms
past checkpoint, nearly hits trooper



State Sen. Ada Smith

The Wild Woman of Albany is at it again.

State Sen. Ada Smith (D-Brooklyn) gunned her car through a checkpoint in an Albany parking garage yesterday, narrowly missing a state trooper on the first full day of the stepped-up terror alert, cops said.

The loopy lawmaker – who has been accused of biting a cop, waving a cleaver at an aide and bringing wedding couples to tears – spewed obscenities and hit the gas after the trooper asked for identification, police said.

"F— you, I’ll park where I want," Smith snarled at the trooper, according to Jeff Kayser, a police union official. "This is bull—-."

Trooper Michael Kavarovick jumped out of the way as Smith’s state car bearing Senate license plate 5 barreled at him.

Smith, who is black, denied burning rubber unnecessarily and accused the state police of racial profiling.

"Do they think I am a terrorist or are they treating me like this because I am a black woman?" she asked.

She also vented about uneven security at the Capitol, saying cops are more worried about protecting "cars than people."

"You could walk into the [legislative office building] off the street and kill everyone," said Smith, 58, a seven-term incumbent who ran unopposed last year.

Cops said Smith, the No. 4 Democrat in the Senate, avoided criminal charges only because no one was hurt.

"The manner in which she pulled into the garage could have jeopardized someone’s safety, but in this case it didn’t," said state police Capt. Patricia Grober.

ID, please

The bizarre confrontation unfolded just after 9 a.m., as Smith pulled up to the underground garage.

The senator blew up after the trooper asked her to show a special ID card that lawmakers were issued as part of enhanced security procedures implemented after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

"She became irate and was using profanities," Grober said. Asked what kind of profanities were used, she said, "Bad ones."

Smith said the ID card was visible inside the car and that she had to floor the accelerator because she thought a garage worker was trying to reach into her car and grab money.

Cops discounted Smith’s account, and Kayser said she has mouthed off to troopers before.

"Here’s a senator who disregards the law and should be able to recognize the need for the heightened security at the Capitol," Kayser said.

Smith is Democratic whip, the No. 4 position in the caucus. State Senate Minority Leader David Paterson (D-Harlem), who is usually available to the press, did not return calls, and his spokesman refused to comment.

Past problems

It’s not the first time Smith has been in the news – mostly for the wrong reasons.

The lawmaker was subdued with Mace after she allegedly bit a cop following a traffic altercation on a Bushwick, Brooklyn, street in 1998. She denied the charge, quipping that she’s "not into raw meat."

Smith was accused of threatening an aide with a cleaver in 1996 after finding out that the aide had been talking to a relative about Smith and what medication she took.

While presiding over weddings as a deputy city clerk in the 1980s, Smith allegedly assaulted a female witness with a garbage can and refused to allow photos of ceremonies.

Originally published on May 22, 2003