VESTAL, NY (WSKG) – Last week, a story broke that 52nd District State Senator Fred Akshar (R – Endwell) had an intimate relationship with the mother of a murder victim. It’s a case Akshar supervised when he worked for the Broome County Sheriff’s office.
This week, the story became part of the Broome County District Attorney’s race.
Mike Korchak, a Republican candidate for DA, wants the Broome County legislature to make policy to prohibit relationships between law enforcement and crime victims. In a press conference posted to his website, he said this comes in wake of the allegations against Akshar.
“This kind of relationship, a sexual relationship, between a police officer and a crime victim, undermines the confidence that the public has in law enforcement,” Korchak said.
Korchak claims his actions are not political.
The details of the alleged relationship were part of a report last week in the Gannett papers. It stems from Akshar’s time as a captain in the Broome County Sheriff’s office, before he was elected to the senate. The woman, Mirella Masciarelli, accuses Akshar of taking advantage of her grief. The senator has called the relationship brief and consensual and has called the report and Korchak’s actions political.
Akshar is supporting Korchak’s opponent Paul Battisti in the Republican primary.
“Enough is enough,” Akshar said, speaking on his Facebook page this week, before Korchak’s press conference. “This has remained nothing more than a concerted, politically-motivated smear attempt. As evidenced by Mike Korchak jumping at the chance to exploit these accusations in an attempt to garner additional votes in the upcoming district attorney’s race.”
The primary election is at the end of June.
Broome County Democratic Head Tim Grippen has called for Akshar to step down, but the GOP leader of the State Senate, John Flanagan has said he stands by Akshar.