Today’s news:

Jennings attacks reporter outside home: Fox

The correspondent, John Deutzman of Fox 5 News, had gone to the councilman's home on 126th Street to film a report about a lawsuit filed against Jennings by the city Campaign Finance Board. As he starting taping, the elected official appeared in the yard of his home and hurled the piece of metal, striking Deutzman in the back, according to a report by The New York Post. The veteran reporter said the Post report was accurate.The encounter followed an earlier trip to Jennings' home by Fox 5 on Dec. 15, when the councilman called police, The Post reported. After that, Deutzman tried to track the Jamaica politician down at the City Council without success, at one point watching as Jennings ran for the safety of the Council lounge. The incident at his home "continues a pattern of improper and erratic behavior," a spokesman for Council Speaker Gifford Miller (D-Manhattan) later told The Post.The Standards and Ethics Committee is examining allegations that Jennings created a hostile work environment and acted inappropriately toward several women as well as charges of improper use of public resources and two counts of improper termination. A hearing into the matter ended Jan. 3 with the councilman unexpectedly taking the stand in his own defense. The committee is expected to decide whether Jennings should face disciplinary action. If the members find the allegations have substance, the councilman could face a penalty ranging from censure to expulsion in a majority vote before the full Council. Jennings is also subject to a lawsuit brought by the city Campaign Finance Board alleging that he owes money from the 2001 election and subsequent fines and legal fees, a board spokeswoman said. He was supposed to return $29,471 in public funds after the race, and when he reportedly failed to do so, received a $8,374 fine. When the board filed its suit in Manhattan Supreme Court, it tacked on another $10,000 to cover legal fees, the spokeswoman said. The case will next be heard Jan. 25.Reach reporter Michael Morton by e-mail at or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 154.

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