Below is a statement from Binghamton resident Tarik Abdelazim, following the ruling by Ithaca City Court Judge Seth Peacock to dismiss the harassment charge against him, which was brought by the Office of Broome County District Attorney Michael Korchak based on a complaint made by City Councilmember Sophia Resciniti on August 5, 2021.
When I learned last August that the Broome County District Attorney’s Office—not the Binghamton Police Department—issued a warrant for my arrest and charged me with harassment based on allegations made by Councilwoman Sophia Resciniti, I was shocked and troubled.
I said at the time that the charge was legally without merit. Last week, the courts agreed and granted my motion to dismiss. The judge’s ruling (see here) makes it clear that the charge failed to meet any of the three minimum criteria for harassment.
It is disappointing that the Broome County District Attorney’s Office wasted public tax dollars on this complaint. I hope an internal review results in disciplinary actions for those staff members who irresponsibly authorized the arrest warrant.
I also said at the time that Resciniti’s complaint was factually inaccurate. On advice of my counsel at the time, I was being polite.
Taken directly from her supporting deposition, this is the only statement Resciniti made about my conduct at a July 26, 2021 public meeting of Binghamton City Council:
On 7/26,2021, city council [sic] held a special meeting. During the meeting, Tarik Abdelazim was pointing and yelling at me saying, “do you want us over to your house again?” and “we will be back you fucking bitch.” I found those statements threatening.
First, I have never been near or at Sophia’s house for any reason at any time.
Second, I never pointed and yelled in a threatening manner to come to her house.
Finally, I never said, “We’ll be back, you f-ing b—–.”
‘B—-’ is a disgusting, harmful word that has roots in sexism and misogyny, and folks who know my character know I would never speak to a woman like that.
It is almost surreal how Resciniti replaced the truth with such a bizarre, false narrative. Here is a video clip of what actually transpired as Council voted on the one piece of resolution and then immediately adjourned the meeting. In a green shirt on the left of the screen, I am seen standing up when the voting concludes, saying, “We’ll be back, we’ll be back.”
No threats, no yelling, and absolutely no reference to her house. It is obvious to any viewer that I (and others) meant we, as engaged citizens, would be back to the next public meeting to continue advocating that pandemic recovery dollars go to help Binghamton residents who are most in need.
And for this, I was arrested.
It is troubling that an elected official would fabricate a complaint, and then leverage personal and political relationships within the District Attorney’s Office to have an engaged citizen arrested. That behavior is a betrayal of the public trust, and a threat to local democracy and the U.S. Constitution.
Sophia Resciniti has shown herself to be unfit for public office.
For this reason, I call on her to resign immediately from Binghamton City Council.
The judge’s ruling has a timeline of the events from the arrest to the ruling earlier this month, which granted Abdelazim’s motion to dismiss the charge.