Mayoral candidate addresses assault citation involving woman - KPTV - FOX 12

Mayoral candidate addresses assault citation involving woman

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A candidate for mayor of Portland acknowledged receiving a misdemeanor assault citation for an incident involving a woman at a party in 1993.

Jefferson Smith addressed questions about the incident during a press conference Monday. His campaign had promised a "major announcement."

The candidate was responding to an article published by the Willamette Week about the incident at a party while he was a sophomore at the University of Oregon.

The story said he served community service and paid the woman's medical bills, even though witnesses said the woman mistakenly blamed Smith for knocking her over and she charged at him.

"It was a bad night," Smith said Monday. "It was the worst night of my life."

Smith said he made contact with the woman and settled the case because he received advice that anything can happen when you go to a jury trial.

He added that winning the case would have required going after other people involved in the situation and he didn't want to do that.

Smith said he understood that running for office would bring up situations from his past.

"I knew I'd lived an imperfect life," he said, before adding, "I've got neighbors facing much deeper challenges than I'm facing."

When asked about any other criminal history, Smith said he was taken into custody for being a minor in possession of alcohol in high school and he stole candy when he was 13 or 14 years old, but was not arrested for shoplifting.

Fox 12 reached out to the campaign of Smith's opponent, Charlie Hales, but has not received a comment regarding today's press conference.

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