State Sen. Attack Trial Set for Summer - NBC New York

State Sen. Attack Trial Set for Summer



    Senate Finance Committee Dust-Up

    Words erupted into a fight at the Senate Finance Committee hearing Tuesday. (Published Wednesday, April 28, 2010)

    Prosecutors are planning a trial this summer for a state senator accused of attacking a news photographer.
    Brooklyn district attorney spokesman Jerry Schmetter says they're aiming for trial in June or July.

      Prosecutors allege New York Post photographer  William Lopez's finger was broken when Sen. Kevin Parker grabbed his camera last May. They recently returned to a grand jury to restore felony assault charges after Judge Neil Firetog had dismissed them citing little evidence of serious injury.
    Parker's lawyer, Lonnie Hart Jr., questioned any new information presented, saying the photographer was checked by emergency personnel and didn't go to the hospital.
    A felony conviction would automatically cost Parker's Senate seat. He also faces lesser charges.
    Parker’s temper has been making news recently. On Tuesday, he engaged in a shouting match that turned an ordinarily low-key finance committee meeting into a spectacle that had even his allies concerned. The Brooklyn Democrat, known for his eruptive temper, was defending a nominee of Gov. David Paterson called into question for a previous statement on affirmative action programs.
    Republican Sen. John DeFrancisco of Onondaga County, who is white, said that if not for those programs, whites and the rich "would have access to nearly 100 percent" of government funding. Parker unleashed a race-based tirade, shouting that a white nominee wouldn't be questioned so aggressively and that DeFrancisco was "out of order."
    Then Democratic Finance Committee Chairman Carl Kruger told Parker he was out of order and would have to step outside.
    Parker said he wanted everybody to step outside. Kruger said he would get someone to remove him with another outburst, but Parker said he'd better bring more than one person to haul him out.
    DeFrancisco didn't have much to say later about the incident, and Parker more or less dismissed it as a "heated debate," according to the Daily News.

    But Sen. Ruben Diaz, a Parker ally who has witnessed a string of the politician's tirades, considered the latest outburst more serious.
    "He needs help," Diaz told the News. "He lost control of himself."
    Parker in part earned his reputation as a hot-head after being accused of punching a photographer camped outside his home. The incident landed him in court; he was ordered to take anger management classes.