Binghamton Police Officer Says She Was Suspended for Reporting Sexual Harassment

Officer Accuses Police Chief of Retaliatory Action

A female police officer in Binghamton, New York, has alleged that the police chief there suspended her and trumped up disciplinary charges against her when she refused his sexual advances. Officer Kristi Sager, who has been with the department since 2005, says that police chief Joseph Zikuski “made passes” at her, and also sought sexual favors from other female officers in the department, including the wife of another officer. She says that when she publicly made allegations against Zikuski, she was charged with employee misconduct and suspended from the force.

According to the charges filed against her by the department, Sager left her post on more than one occasion, and failed to keep an accurate and detailed account of where she was while on duty. Her attorney, Ron Benjamin, says that there’s no basis to the allegations and that, absent a tracking device, the allegations are based purely on speculation. He says Sager has also been accused of leaving the scene of an accident while under the influence of alcohol. He points out that Binghamton Mayor Rich David agreed over a year ago that he would approve Sager’s termination if the allegations could be substantiated, but they have not.

This is not the first allegation of sexual harassment within police departments in New York. In November, three female police officers from the Bronx filed a federal lawsuit alleging that they had been hit on, groped and shown naked videos by a male officer in the precinct. Earlier last year, a retired NYPD officer at the 83rd Precinct was accused of sexual harassment by a female officer. He has since countersued, alleging that the relationship was consensual.

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