UPDATED: Binghamton mayor acknowledges ties to restaurant owners under investigation

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The Colonial in downtown Binghamton remains closed amid a police investigation into its owners. (Jillian Forstadt/WSKG)

UPDATED: 12/21/21—2:40 P.M.

 

BINGHAMTON, NY (WSKG)—Binghamton police and the Broome County District Attorney’s office are continuing to investigate allegations of sexual assault involving the owners of three downtown restaurants.

Police are investigating an incident on Nov. 28, according to a statement released earlier this month. The Press and Sun Bulletin reported it involves the owners of the Colonial, Dos Rios and Stone Fox restaurants.

The three restaurants share owners. As of Tuesday afternoon, all of them have remained closed for close to two weeks.

Hundreds of protesters rallied in Binghamton on Dec. 13 after allegations surfaced online accusing the owners of sexual assault.

Binghamton police detective Sgt. Daniel Flanders said the investigation began around the start of this month, but the department has not released any names. Little information has been reported by the department beyond that.

District Attorney Michael Korchak said Friday that his agency is separately investigating, although his job is to look at what evidence there is to convict given arrests are made.

“But obviously the police consult with the DA’s office because we don’t want to be in a position where there’s enough to arrest but not enough to prove a case at trial,” Korchak said. “That’s why investigations take time.”

Korchak said although his office is trying to be transparent, he could not speak on an open investigation of any kind. More information will be released if charges are filed.

“Our goal is to get justice for victims and that’s why we handle it that way, and by law we have to handle it that way,” Korchak said.

Flanders said it is unlikely more will come out before Christmas as police detective Capt. Cory Minor, who is the point of contact for the investigation, will be out of the office until then.

Binghamton Mayor Rich David speaking outside the former Urban League building on Monday. (Vaughn Golden/WSKG)

David’s ties to the owners

Binghamton Mayor Rich David has acknowledged his ties to owners of the three restaurants.

David previously owned the building where Dos Rios is located. He sold it in 2017 to Court and State LLC, which includes members of the management group that established the three restaurants.

They bought it for more than $1.2 million, which was nearly twice what David paid for it, according to property records kept by Broome County.

David, however, said he has no vested interest in Dos Rios or the other businesses.

“I have not at any point in time ever had any financial interest or any sort of interest in either of those three businesses—Colonial, Dos Rios, or Stone Fox—or their parent management group,” David said on Monday. “However way you want to slice and dice it, I have nothing to do with those businesses.”

When asked how well he knows the owners, David said he knows one “in passing” and another through a couple of “business deals” but did not name them. The mayor holds real estate throughout the Binghamton area.

David said the Binghamton Police Department is trying to corroborate claims made on social media. He encouraged anyone with information to come forward.

David’s tenure as mayor will end this month.*

*This story has been updated to reflect new information from Binghamton Mayor Rich David. WSKG’s Vaughn Golden contributed reporting.

Support for victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence from RAINN, or the Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network hotline, can be found at 800-656-HOPE. The National Domestic Violence Crisis Hotline is 1-800-799-SAFE.

Have a tip? Reach WSKG reporter Jillian Forstadt at jforstadt@wskg.org.