Did retired senator Al D'Amato, who was once famously called "Senator Pothole" by New Yorkers, lie in order to get custody of his children?
That's the allegation being made by the former senator's estranged wife. She claims that the senator is often verbally and emotionally abusive to both her and their children. Now, it seems the former senator may have handed her proof that she can show in court of his behavior. It may have serious repercussions for him in their custody battle over their two children, ages 10 and 8.
The police were called to the couple's home last year, and it's still a matter of dispute what actually happened. His wife was taken to the hospital overnight and the senator promptly rushed into court and obtained an emergency restraining order and temporary custody by claiming that his wife was mentally ill, off her medication and dangerous. Such orders are usually issued ex parte, or without an immediate opportunity for the other party to offer a defense.
Through her attorney, the retired politician's wife has denied that she is either mentally ill or that she's been prescribed medication. The attorney called the politician an "inveterate liar" and said that it is D'Amato -- not his estranged wife -- who is a danger. He is accused of verbally terrorizing his entire family for years.
If the tirade he launched into while his estranged wife was recovering from neck surgery in the hospital is any indicator, the charges may be accurate. The politician was recorded on a phone cursing and berating his wife as she was lying in her hospital bed recovering from surgery.
That ugly tirade may also come back to haunt him in court. His wife is seeking to introduce the video of him screaming obscenities at her while she begs him to stop as evidence in their upcoming court hearing. Family court judges have a pretty wide latitude when deciding what they consider relevant, so it's likely it will be seen.
This case should serve as a lesson to anyone going through a divorce and custody case. Everything you say or do can be used in court. If you wouldn't want the judge to hear you say it -- don't say it at all.
Source: Syracuse.com, "Former NY Sen. Al D'Amato curses out estranged wife in hospital bed (video)," Geoff Herbert, March 29, 2018