NOTE: This story contains language some readers may find offensive.
VESTAL, NY (WSKG) — A judge dismissed harassment charges made following a complaint by a Binghamton city councilwoman that she was harassed by a former mayoral candidate and city official at City Council meetings last year.
City Councilwoman Sophia Resciniti alleged that Tarik Abdelazim called her “a fucking bitch,” and threatened to come to her house at a particularly contentious City Council meeting last year. Abdelazim denies both claims.
The case was assigned to Ithaca City Court Judge Seth Peacock after a Binghamton City Court judge recused themself in the matter. Peacock wrote in his decision, dismissing the case, that the facts did not amount to enough evidence to proceed and that any “colorful language” used was protected speech.
“Although this decision is in favor of dismissal, it should be understood that in cases like these, had the facts or statements shifted slightly there could have been a different outcome,” Peacock wrote.
Resciniti did not respond to a request for comment Monday.
The charges arose following a chaotic City Council meeting last summer where several members of the public shouted at Binghamton City Council, which had been considering whether to spend federal stimulus funds from the American Rescue Plan to repair the City Council chamber roof.
Several months prior, Resciniti cut a hearing short over the city’s police reform and reinvention plan, after several public commenters swore. Following the meeting, Resciniti said several people showed up at her house, leaving signs and other messages in her lawn.
Resciniti, a Republican, is currently running for state Assembly.
Abdelazim, a Democrat, is a former housing director and executive assistant to former Mayor Matt Ryan. He unsuccessfully ran against Mayor Rich David in 2017.