Joe Smith, husband to aid of State Senator Dean Skelos (R), pled guilty to charges related to his attack on Iraq War Veteran and small business owner Carl Achille, 30 of Elmont.
The stocky, often belligerent Smith is no stranger to the law in that he apparently has sealed arrest records, allegedly drug related. On March 11, 2013, Smith hurled a barrage of racial insults as he bum rushed Achille at a community meeting in the Elmont Public Library.
The meeting held by the Elmont Coalition for Sustainable Development (ECSD) to hear presentations by two alternative developers to the ill conceived minor league soccer stadium proposed for the Belmont Racetrack property. Mr. Achille’s question “why did the request for proposal [RFP] deliberately excluding the integration of housing for young professionals” ignited ire from Town of Hempstead employee, Claudine E. Hall, and Smith’s wife, Sandra Smith. This seemed the catalyst that provoked the attack. A witness to the incident recalls Hall charging at the young war veteran and being restrained by attendees to the meeting.
For Smith this is the second physical/verbal attack on community residents at the Elmont Public Library. The ECSD has been turned into a political organization and residents familiar with the patronage and outright bullying by members of the group have called for Sandra Smith’s resignation from the ECSD board. She has resisted.
Smith, wife Sandra Smith chairs the ECSD board, and is a loyal Republican soldier. Both Smiths are strong supporters of the proposed Cosmos soccer stadium championed by junior state senator, Jack Martins (R) despite broad community objection to the stadium.
Achille applauds the verdict and states that “the verdict sends a message that our community is strong and united and will not stand for thugs and goons hell bent on division, and hate. Community meetings are in place for civil discussion and the advancement of our neighborhood, not violence and ignorance.” The attack by Hall and the Smiths on Achille has not made him bitter. He said “I pray for them and their families, and hope that they will use their energy for the good of all Elmont residents.”