Ontario County launches investigation into Sheriff, administration following claims of inappropriate comments

ONTARIO COUNTY, N.Y. (WHEC) —The Ontario County Board of Supervisors will launch an investigation into Ontario County Sheriff Kevin Henderson, and some of his administration following "troubling" allegations of inappropriate comments, and a failure to discipline.

In its motion passed Thursday night, the board says a special Invitation Committee will look into the conduct in question. The committee will have subpoena power to get documents or interview people.

As News10NBC showed you on Tuesday, Henderson said he would not resign following what he says was a push to do so from Board Chair Jack Marren. Henderson said he was threatened with retaliation if he did not resign, and called on the board to meet with him "as soon as possible."

Within Thursday’s forming of the committee, board members said they first learned of complaints against Henderson in late 2020. The board says an independent investigator looked into the claims and found evidence of wrongdoing. On Wednesday, News10NBC learned the complaints about Henderson include claims that he made comments of a sexual nature in front of staff and that he did not discipline command staff when inappropriate comments were made in front of him.

The board says Henderson did not comply with the investigator at the time, which is why this new committee was formed.

While Henderson maintains he’s staying, Undersheriff David Frasca voluntarily resigned following the meeting the Sheriff had with Marren.

"Sheriff Henderson has no intention of resigning, and reaffirms his commitment to the citizens of Ontario County to put public safety before politics," Henderson said at the time.

In an additional move, the board also approved a motion to move the county’s emergency communications away from the sheriff’s office to a system that will work independently of any one public safety agency. A newly appointed Emergency Communication Task Force must submit a final report of recommendations to the Ontario County Public Safety Committee by July 1, 2022.

News10NBC is continuing to follow this story.