FRANKLYWNOW - Disciplinary Hearing for BPD Officer Accusing Chief of Harassmen

Disciplinary Hearing for BPD Officer Accusing Chief of Harassment Adjourned

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The disciplinary hearing for the Binghamton Police Officer accusing the Police Chief of sexual harassment was adjourned Tuesday.

The indefinite postponement of the hearing is drawing the ire of the officer's attorney. Ron Benjamin says Kristi Sager - who is charged with leaving her post and leaving the scene of an accident - is innocent of the charges. He insists the charges were brought in retaliation for her refusing the sexual advances of Chief Joseph Zikuski.

The City put Zikuski on administrative leave Monday - though Mayor Rich David emphasized that move is not a disciplinary action and does not imply the allegations are credible. Benjamin said he has present and past members of the force ready to testify to support the allegations Sager is making. The hearing officer emailed the parties involved that it would be best to let the dust settle before going forward with the hearings.

"Putting the cart before the horse. Any responsible investigation would have found that she rejected his sexual advances, that there's a long-term practice and pattern of misconduct and therefore no disciplinary charges would have ever been brought had there been any kind of impartial investigation," said attorney Ron Benjamin.

"It's a very uncomfortable situation to be in. I'd like to be back to work and have some type of normalcy, be reinstated into my life," said Sager.

The Mayor's Office did not respond to Benjamin's concerns the City was behind the adjournment of today's hearing. the state's human rights commission is currently investigating Sager's sexual harassment charges against zikuski.
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