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Attorney Says Ithaca Police Investigator Asked For, Never Got Help With Cases

Mark H. Anbinder

The attorney for Ithaca Police Investigator Christine Barksdale said his client is being used as a scapegoat.

Barksdale is accused by the city of mishandling dozens of cases, including sex offenses.

Ithaca attorney Edward Kopko said, “There was a dump of all of these cases on her with the expectation that she was to handle them without any help whatsoever.”

He said Barksdale asked for help to complete investigations of cases she was assigned, but the city and police department didn’t provide the support she needed.

“She was continuously asking for help,” he said. “She was continually asking for assistance. Everything was always falling on deaf ears. She never got the help that she needed to get.”

Kopko said the city could have provided help by hiring or promoting another investigator. 

WSKG asked Ithaca Deputy Police Chief John Joly about Barksdale’s request for help. Joly was the most recent head of the Investigation Division.

In an email, he said state law prohibits him from discussing specific police personnel issues.

The city can only fire a police officer through an arbitration process. Until then, Barksdale remains a member of the police department. She is no longer responsible for investigating cases.

The mayor’s office said the Ithaca Police Department is taking “appropriate action” for other officers who may have been involved.