PLATTSBURGH — A city councilor is accused of spitting into the face of a constituent following a downtown argument last weekend.

Patrick Girard, 29, a resident of Ward 6, said Councilor Chris Jackson spit into his face during a confrontation at Woodstock’s bar last Saturday night.

According to Girard and City Police, Girard, who knows Jackson, said the two were trading barbs about baseball when Jackson, an avid Boston Red Sox fan, got upset.

Jackson then allegedly approached Girard and made a nasty comment about his family, to which Girard replied, “Did you have too many Shirley Temples?”

Jackson then allegedly cleared his throat and spit into Girard’s face.

“It got in my eye, on my face, on my jacket,” Girard said.

“I was furious, and I was going to hit him but didn’t.”

Jackson then told Girard that if he hit him he would call the police and have him arrested. Jackson walked to the end of the bar, took his money off the bar and left.

Girard called police and filed an incident report.

Police went to Jackson’s house to question him, but he did not answer the door.

Later, when speaking to police, Jackson admitted he spit into Girard’s face. He also called Girard and left a voice message apologizing for the incident, Girard said.

Girard thought about letting the matter go but could not.

“I would feel really awful if someone spit in my face and I didn’t do anything about it,” Girard said.

A complaint of second-degree harassment, a violation, was sent to City Court, where the matter is expected to be re-visited today.

If found guilty, Jackson could face a fine of up to $250 or a maximum of 15 days in jail.

Jackson said he regretted the incident but stopped short of admitting he spit on Girard’s face.

“I regret the situation. I tried to contact Mr. Girard, but he did not return my calls,” was all Jackson would say.

Girard said he has known Jackson for several years and finds his behavior puzzling.

“I don’t know what it is, but lately he’s been pretty nasty to me.”

Girard said Jackson, who represents downtown and the Center City area, where neighborhoods are often troubled with college-age people behaving poorly after a night of drinking, was hypocritical.

“He’s always complaining about the college kids drinking and causing trouble, and now he does this.”

Jackson, a Democrat, is up for re-election next year, if he chooses to run.

“I don’t think I will be pulling the lever for him,” Girard said.

E-mail Joe LoTemplio at:


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