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Texas senate candidate jailed for probation violation

Nov. 3, 2006

The Associated Press

WACO -- A Libertarian state Senate candidate was jailed for weeks before Tuesday's election, serving time for violating probation from an assault charge for which he was jailed during a previous campaign.

Phil Smart, an accountant from Palmer, is running against state Sen. Kip Averitt, R-McGregor, in the district that includes Waco.

Smart was released Monday from the Ellis County Jail in Waxahachie after serving 20 days, a jail spokeswoman said. Smart did not immediately return a call Thursday from The Associated Press.

Wes Benedict, executive director of the Texas Libertarian Party, said he was not aware of details of the arrest.

Smart, 48, was on probation after he pulled a knife on employees at a Waxahachie bank in 2004, then turned the knife on his wrist and asked if they wanted to be "blood brothers," according to police records. Before that, he had thrown pennies at the two women tellers and said, "Two pennies for my thoughts."

Smart was initially charged with felony aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, but the charge was lowered to a misdemeanor assault charge, said Ellis County District Attorney Joe Grubbs.

Smart was ordered to pay $1,000 and received two years of deferred adjudication.

He was jailed in 2004 during his unsuccessful bid for Ellis County commissioner.

On Sept. 1, Smart was arrested by the Red Oak Police Department on a charge of possession of controlled substance, possession of dangerous drugs and running a stop sign. Smart provided proof of prescriptions for each of the drugs, Grubbs said.