Council Candidate Did Time, Accused of Sex Abuse

Political hopeful once jailed for impersonating a cop

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBCNewYork
    George Smith is running for City Council District 39 in Brooklyn.

    The fliers advocating George Smith's candidacy for city council sure portray a cleaner image of the aspiring politician than his mug shot does.

    Smith, a Republican trying to unseat Democrat Bill de Blasio in Brooklyn has spent time in jail for impersonating a cop and faces a slew of misdemeanor charges, including forcible touching, sexual misconduct, harassment and sexual abuse, according to a new report.  

    The sex-abuse incident allegedly happened in late December in Nassau County, officials from the District Attorney's office told The New York Post. Authorities would not release details on the charges or the identity of the victim.

    George Smith- City Council # 39

    [NY] George Smith- City Council # 39
    George Smith- City Council # 39- Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Columbia Street, Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Kensington, Boro Park

    Smith's lawyer, however, says the woman making the accusations is the council hopeful's estranged wife -- and the charges are the result of a continuing nasty divorce and custody fight, according to the Post. Attorney Glenn Ingoglia told the paper he was "confident" his client would be acquitted of all the charges.

    It's rather uncommon for a candidate running for political office for the first time to do so amid allegations of sexual abuse, but Smith says the charges against him are bogus.

    "We're open and honest here … I have nothing to hide," he told the Post.

    Smith's first political test will be the GOP primary for the Park Slope seat on Sept. 15, but he's only been able to scrape together $2,000 to buttress his campaign thus far, reports the Post. His court date is scheduled for the week before the primary.

    A self-described beneficiary of the American Dream, Smith, 34, says he went  from being a child in homeless shelters to a "respected man in the community" who bought his own house.

    Less allegorical details of Smith's past may come back to haunt him come election time, however. Smith was jailed from early 1996 to March 1997 on robbery charges in Queens, where he allegedly pretended to be a cop to rob someone, according to the Post.

    Records also indicate Smith was arrested twice within a month on similar charges in late 1995, the paper reports.

    "It was not a violent crime," he said, noting that he was young at the time. "Life is a learning experience. You make a mistake . . . Everybody deserves a second chance." 

    How about a third?