CANANDAIGUA, N.Y (WROC) — The Ontario County Board of Supervisors held their first meeting since the resignation of Sheriff Kevin Henderson was announced. Those there made clear the allegations of misconduct made against him won’t be set aside the investigations, they say, will continue.
The supervisors on the committee looking into those allegations say they want to find out if the allegations made against Henderson are the result of something deeper than just top leadership.
The shake-up in leadership at the Ontario County Sheriff’s Office sparked locals to take to the podium before the board and demand more transparency around what’s going on. And if the County is properly protected.
“Since the 209 committees have largely done all of their work out of the public’s eye in executive session, it is impossible for any citizens like myself to make any judgments of Sheriff Kevin Henderson’s tenure,” AJ Magnan, a resident of Ontario County argued. “Much less the County Administrations demand he resigns was appropriate.”
“Citizens of Ontario County have the right to know the results of this investigation,” another woman said at the podium. “What happened and who was involved? How will individuals be held accountable?”
Those on the committee urge patience FROM the public as they must protect the privacy of those employees who came forward. Adding they have thousands of documents to go through while waiting for subpoenas to be answered.
“We are having discussions with our County Attorney, with outside counsel, with H.R,” Supervisor Todd Campbell who’s the chair of the 209 Committee said. “So if we’re talking about individuals or our plan moving forward to issue other subpoenas or anything like that of legal nature, those are done in executive session.”
According to the Board of Supervisors, anonymous tipsters accused Henderson and his undersheriff of sexually harassing employees or allowing other staff members to do so, creating a toxic work environment. While leaders here at the meeting did not provide any new information tonight, they insisted the investigation into those allegations must go on, even though Henderson and the undersheriff have both stepped down.
“Maybe there’s some systemic or structural, organizational, or training things that we need to address,” County Administrator Chris DeBolt told us. “In order to get to the bottom of that we need to know what was going on and unfortunately we just didn’t have any communication with the former sheriff. So it’s almost three years of a black box.”
We’re told those who have already been subpoenaed have ten more days to respond to the 209 committee.
Another concern raised at this meeting was the 14 recent vacancies the Ontario Sheriff’s office saw, which Board Members believe was a result of former Sheriff Henderson’s behavior. But assured the County is protected.