The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office investigated inappropriate behavior by its own Human Resources director.
A female CCSO employee allegedly walked into HR Director Kevin Ostrowsky’s office and he told her to shut the door, then pointed at her breasts and asked if she “got those redone again,” according to the investigation.
Ostrowsky denied this allegation.
Female employees also said that Ostrowsky asked them if they go into the bathroom and touch each other’s breasts.
Ostrowsky told an investigator he remembers that comment, and what happened was he asked if women who had breast implants liked to “show them off.”
“It’s like a guy buying a car and asking if you want to take it for a spin,” Ostrowsky explained to an investigator.
Multiple CCSO employees also recalled an incident in which cloth face masks were being handed out and everyone was making fun because they were made by the Hanes company. Ostrowsky allegedly tossed a mask to one employee and said, “Well, there’s your training bras,” and then said, “You will need a bigger size,” the investigation states.
One employee recalled that Ostrowsky asked her if she was married to a woman. She is married to a man. Ostrowsky denied this allegation.
A retired employee was called in order to give a statement for the investigation. The employee said that one time Ostrowsky walked into her office, sniffed the air and said, “I smell old lady.” In another instance, he allegedly walked down the hallway asking, “Where is (she)? I know she’s around here somewhere. I can smell her.”
Ostrowsky said that he never made those comments. But, the woman’s husband used to send her lilies to the office, and he said that when lilies get old, they smell like urine and he relates that with the smell of funeral homes or nursing homes. He said he had on several occasions asked where the employee was, but never said she smelled like old lady or made rude comments about her age.
The 22-page investigation rehashes many additional alleged inappropriate comments from Ostrowsky over the last five years.
The conclusion of the internal affairs investigation is a sustained charge of “conduct unbecoming.”
Ostrowsky said he received a big “slice of humble pie” because of the investigation, and said he was not aware his comments affected employees, the investigation states.
For the duration of the investigation, the HR Director was on paid administrative leave, and after the conclusion of the investigation, he was placed on an 80-hour suspension without pay, records show.
“I have taken into consideration your statements and believe you were very sincere in admitting your mistake,” states a letter signed by Sheriff Bill Prummell. “This violation, though severe, did not rise to a Title VII violation.”
Ostrowsky completed a virtual training seminar on proper communication in the workplace and was able to return to work.