Broome County voters are facing a terrible choice when it comes to electing our next sheriff. NYS Senator and former Broome County sheriff Captain Fred Akshar is running for Broome County sheriff against Kate Newcomb, his former live-in girlfriend and current Captain in that same sheriff’s office.
The adage about politics and odd-bedfellows has never been more literal.
Akshar is campaigning on “Principled Leadership”. Seriously? How “principled” was it to have a sexual encounter with a woman involved in an active criminal case still at trial in which Akshar was involved? How “principled” was it to dispatch his own brother, (also a Broome County sheriff at the time), to a domestic dispute involving one of his political friends who will undoubtedly be running for Broome County district attorney in the next election? How “principled” was it to hire an assistant in his office and raise her salary exponentially while having a romance with her, only to be slapped down by the Senate ethics committee?
As for Newcomb, how “principled” was it for her to interfere with a NYS Police investigation involving her nephew, advising him to obstruct an investigation into his drunk driving and then protecting him while screaming at the troopers that she should be afforded professional courtesy because of her position in the sheriff’s department?
Barring a miracle, Akshar will win this race, parlaying the vote-getting appeal of former Binghamton mayor Rich David in exchange for his Senate seat. After Akshar takes office, you can expect to see Newcomb resign and the county loses a career cop while gaining back a man with well documented integrity and judgment issues.
Then, God forbid, in two years, the Akshar political machine gets into gear and elects his buddy Paul Battisti to the Broome County District Attorney’s office, that’s right, the same guy who called in a favor in having his former wife arrested by Akshar’s brother in the parking lot of Dick’s in Binghamton. The same Paul Battisti that owed more than 86,000.00 in back taxes to the IRS in 2019.
When the two most significant legal entities in the county are being managed by men with a history of manipulating the legal system, womanizing, using taxpayer monies to over-pay girlfriends and failing to pay their own taxes, what kind of a justice system will that mean for Broome County? Those systems will be forged in the respective images of the men who manage them, striking at the very heart of institutions that rely overwhelmingly on morality, truth, character and high principles, qualities which go wanting by all those political players.
Thomas Jefferson was right when he said, “The government you elect is the government you deserve.”