Portland mayoral candidate holds 'regret'
PORTLAND, Ore. -- Thirty-five days before Portland's mayoral election, candidate Jefferson Smith is now on the hot seat for a misdemeanor assault charge in 1993. On Monday, near Portland City Hall, Smith called a news conference: to talk about an assault charge from when he was in college. The Willamette Week newspaper says it happened in a fight with a woman while he was at an off-campus party as a University of Oregon student. The charge was later dropped. Smith's Monday afternoon news conference responded to the story, calling the assault "an accident; I regret it a lot." Smith called witnesses to say a woman he didn't know was on a couch that tipped over at the party. They said the woman at the party then started hitting Smith, wrongly believing he had pushed the couch over. Smith says the woman received a cut on her forehead as he tried to stop her. He said the assault charge was dropped when he agreed to community service, apologized, and paid her medical bills.This admission comes after a number of incidents last year, one where Smith punched a player in a pick-up basketball game and another where he pushed a player in a coed soccer game. Smith also said he had been arrested as a high-school student for being a minor in possession of alcohol. On Monday, however, he said he believed "powerful interests" are trying to take him down in the mayor's race. Members of the Charlie Hales campaign tell KOIN they're not commenting on Smith's remarks.-- KOIN's Lisa Balick contributed to this report from downtown Portland.Related link: * Hales, Smith to face off in November
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Posted on Oct. 01, 2012
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