St. Louis Alderman Cited for Urinating During Debate

S T.   L O U I S, July 24, 2001 -- St. Louis police have issue a citation to a city alderman who apparently urinated into a waste basket at City Hall during a debate.

The city counselor's office is weighing whether to charge Alderman Irene Smith with violating the city's ordinance againstpublic urination.

The incident took place a week ago when Smith was filibusteringagainst a redistricting plan she says is harmful to the city'sblacks.

Smith was told she would lose control of the floor if she leftto use the restroom. So 40 minutes later, supporters surrounded herwith sheets and other items while she appeared to urinate into atrash can.

The incident was captured on camera and aired repeatedly on local newscasts.

One of her colleagues, Alderman Thomas Bauer, filed a policecomplaint against Smith for her action. Bauer said he wants aninvestigation into whether Smith violated a city ordinance thatprohibits public urination.

Violations carry a fine of up to $500 and up to 90 days in jail.

"The conduct was outrageous [and] disrespectful of the Board ofAldermen and the people of the city of St. Louis," Bauer told theSt. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Smith said Friday night that "Bauer has a right to do what hewants to" but should be aware of the ramifications of filing"false affidavits."

"What I did behind that tablecloth is my business," Smith said.