SENECA FALLS — Assault and harassment charges against former Town Board member Thomas Ruzicka will be dismissed if he performs community service and pays the medical bills of current board member David DeLelys by Nov. 21.
Ruzicka was sentenced Friday by Waterloo Town Justice Christopher Folk to an Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal — or ACD — that expires Nov. 21.
That means the third-degree assault and second-degree harassment charges, a misdemeanor and a violation, will be dismissed and the case sealed as long as Ruzicka performs 36 hours of community service and pays $468.78 in medical bills on or before Nov. 21.
The sentence comes more than a year after Ruzicka, a Republican elected in 2016, was charged in connection with a May 5, 2017, incident in which he grabbed DeLelys, a Democrat, by his shirt and pulled upward while yelling at him as DeLelys walked by him at a restaurant in downtown Seneca Falls after a contentious board meeting.
“I don’t think the sentence is fair, but what can you do? The legal system decided,” DeLelys said after learning of the disposition.
He noted that Ruzicka has not apologized to him.
Attempts to reach Ruzicka were unsuccessful.
At the meeting, DeLelys suggested Ruzicka should not vote on a motion to rescind Local Law 3 of 2016. The law passed, 3-2, with Ruzicka voting to repeal it and DeLelys voting to keep it in place. Local Law 3 would have required Seneca Meadows Landfill to close by Dec. 31, 2025.
DeLelys said Ruzicka took campaign money from Seneca Meadows in 2016. Ruzicka denied the contribution had any influence on his vote.
Local Law 2 of 2017 was passed at the May 5, 2017, meeting, rescinding that law.
However, a legal challenge to Local Law 2 was successful in getting it dismissed and Local Law 3 is now back on the books.
Ruzicka received numerous adjournments and changed lawyers over the past year. Because both Seneca Falls town justices recused themselves, the matter was transferred to Waterloo Town Court.
In addition, David Mashewske of Penn Yan was named special prosecutor for the case. Attorney Thomas Wolff of Waterloo represented Ruzicka.
DeLelys said he had two prior neck surgeries and the confrontation with Ruzicka caused him additional neck pain. Ruzicka was defeated in his bid for re-election in 2017, while DeLelys was re-elected to a new four-year term.