Akshar Dismisses Allegations as Political “Smear Attempt”
New York State Senator Fred Akshar is responding to calls for his resignation by saying they are part of a "concerted, politically-motivated smear attempt."
In a video posted to his official Senate Facebook page late Sunday, the Endwell Republican declared: "Enough is enough."
The three-minute recording was released one day after Broome County Democratic Committee chairman Timothy Grippen called on Akshar to resign.
Grippen's statement came in the aftermath of a Gannett news report focusing on Akshar's conduct with the mother of a town of Binghamton murder victim. According to the article, Akshar acknowledged he had a "brief, consensual relationship" with Mirella Masciarelli after he had been involved with the investigation into her son's death in 2013. Akshar was a Broome County Sheriff's Office captain at the time.
Following the news story, Masciarelli asserted in an online statement that she had not been capable of consenting to the sexual encounter with Akshar.
In his video statement, Akshar accused Grippen and Michael Korchak, a candidate for Broome County District Attorney, of trying to use the matter for political gain.
Akshar said "it's beyond shameful" that they would "exploit these completely false and, frankly, disgusting accusations for petty political attacks."
Akshar said "no laws or codes of ethics were violated at any time." He said Masciarelli previously had described their brief relationship "as ending as friends."
Akshar said Masciarelli has repeatedly attempted to harass him. He said "it's no coincidence" Masciarelli elevated her attacks against him after he endorsed Paul Battisti for district in his primary race against Korchak.
The senator said he "will never let rumor, innuendo, false accusations or threats influence me or distract me from working for the people."
This is Senator Fred Akshar's statement posted on Facebook on Sunday afternoon.
Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: firstname.lastname@example.org
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