BINGHAMON, NY – A local artist was in court today, charged with making a terroristic threat for allegedly posting a death threat to former Binghamton Mayor Rich David online.
Mosaic artist Emily Jablon was in Broome County Court today.
On January 5th, New York State Police filed a criminal complaint against Jablon, based on allegations David lodged against her on December 16th when he was still Mayor.
In his deposition, David points to a Facebook post Jablon allegedly made under an assumed name in which she posed the question of whether it would be legal to shoot the mayor.
Another alleged post included a photo of 2 monks with assault weapons and a warning about teaching the mayor and other elected officials a lesson.
And David claims that Jablon sent him an email stating “you will die as well.”
Plus, he cites a post he says she made on B-C Voice in which she wrote “Rich David is dead. Rich David is dead.”
The dispute stems from a project Jablon did to install a mosaic mural at Columbus Park in the city.
The first phase was paid for by the city while the county had tentatively agreed to pay for its completion.
However, COVID interrupted the process before a contract was signed, yet Jablon went ahead and finished it anyway.
According to David, when the county did not pay Jablon the full amount she felt she was due, she tried to extort the money from him and the city.
He states that her escalating behavior made him concerned for his safety and he requested an order of protection.
While Jablon’s attorney Ron Benjamin acknowledges that Jablon made the social media posts and email in question, he does not believe they were threats.
And Benjamin has filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that her statements do not constitute making a terroristic threat, which by statute must include a threat to the community as a whole or a governmental entity.
“Emily is a fine artist, she’s very talented. She’s been very damaged, in a sense. However it all plays out, that to me is something that is clear. I think this charge of terrorism was brought to smear her, to basically try to erode her credibility,” says Benjamin.
Benjamin says in his motion to dismiss that David is trying to discredit Jablon because she filed a human rights complaint against him alleging unlawful discrimination.
In her complaint, Jablon says that she and the Mayor had sexual relations and that he was coercing her into sex in exchange first for help in getting her money from the county and later in exchange for the money itself.
When Jablon was initially arraigned on the terrorism charge earlier this month, the judge set as conditions of her release that she receive a mental health evaluation and that she not have any contact with David including social media posts and third party contact.
In court today, the District Attorney’s Office told the judge that Jablon had continued posting online about the case and had sent a lengthy email to David’s attorney.
They also references a separate criminal contempt charge pending against Jablon in Binghamton City Court for violating an order of protection against a Binghamton businessman.
That businessman tells NewsChannel 34 that Jablon had threatened and harassed him over social media and the phone, prompting the order.
He says she violated it by contacting one of his relatives.
Over the course of last year, Jablon made other social media posts that could be viewed as threatening about another local elected official.
Judge Joe Cawley gave Jablon a stern lecture in court today, telling her that any further violations of the order of protection would land her in jail while she awaits adjudication of the case.
Benjamin says he’s counseled his client to stop posting but he attributes her behavior to her strong feeling that she is a victim of injustice.
David’s attorney released a statement calling Jablon’s human rights allegations entirely false and baseless and many of her statements defamatory.
There was no comment as to whether the two had sexual relations.