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Recalled Huber councilwoman’s son faces charge after polling place spat

Hours before the results showed that she would be recalled, Huber Heights Councilwoman Janell Smith’s adult son was cited on a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge after an Election Day incident at a polling place.  

Ward 2 voters recalled Janell Smith on Tuesday by a margin of nearly 59 percent to 41 percent, according to final, unofficial election results. Proponents of the recall criticized Smith’s behavior and raised questions about how she handled concerns about the city’s multimillion-dollar water pressure project.

Under the city charter, Smith must forfeit the office upon certification of the election results. She will be ineligible to hold any city office for the remainder of the term, which expires Dec. 31, 2019.

The Huber Heights city charter requires the Ward 2 seat to be filled within 30 days by majority vote of the remaining members of council. Council will advertise seeking eligible applicants for the position.

MORE: Voters recall Councilwoman Janell Smith from office

Her son, Alexander Ray Smith, 24, is charged in Montgomery County Municipal Court. In a statement to police, Alexander Smith wrote he “pushed away” a girl who approached his mother in what he thought was “a very aggressive way.”

The 16-year-old girl wasn’t injured, according to a police report.  

Alexander Smith declined to comment. He is scheduled for an arraignment at 10 a.m. Nov. 20, according to court records. No attorney is listed in court records. Janell Smith couldn’t be reached by phone or text message.

A video of the incident released by Huber Heights police to the Dayton Daily News and News Center 7 appears to shows Janell Smith holding back her son after he pushes the girl. The incident occurred outside the polling place at New Season Ministry, a church at 5711 Shull Road.

In a written statement, the 911 caller told police “there was a verbal altercation” between Janell Smith and the teen who was demonstrating at the polling place in favor of the recall. The Dayton Daily News and News Center 7 are not naming the girl because she’s a juvenile.

Janell Smith said in her written statement she “was minding her own business” when the teenager “began to berate me while others video taped it.” Janell Smith said “some words were exchanged” before the girl approached Janell Smith, who said she “felt there were going to be punches thrown.”

Other witnesses, and Janell Smith herself, told police that the councilwoman mentioned the divorce records of the girl’s parents, which Janell Smith said “angered” the girl.

The incident report, citing the video, says Janell Smith asked the victim, “Do you want to do something,” and the girl responded, “No, I am not going to hit you,” at which point Alexander Smith “reached over Janell and pushed” the victim away.

Janell Smith last month was censured by her colleagues for calling the employer of a citizen who supported removing her from office.

After the censure, the unions representing the city’s police officers and firefighters rebuked Janell Smith. The local Fraternal Order of Police lodge accused Janell Smith of attempting “to fracture the trust that the citizens of Huber Heights have with members of their police division.”

At a council meeting during which she was censured, Janell Smith said she felt she could not count on the city police and legal department to protect her.

Janell Smith, on Facebook, later wrote she supports public safety services “even when they don’t support me!”

Read more local coverage:

» Huber Heights Councilwoman Janell Smith censured ahead of recall vote

» Investigation: Ransomware costs Riverside thousands, hinders access to police systems

» Doctor from raided Riverside clinic has faced scrutiny before

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