Cocoa Beach Police Chief accused of bullying, harassment, abusive behavior by employees
COCOA BEACH, Fla. - A Cocoa Beach city commissioner is speaking out against the internal investigation into the city's police chief.
Several employees within the Cocoa Beach Police Department accused Chief Scott Rosenfeld of bullying, abusive behavior, and possible sexual harassment. The city hired a company to conduct an investigation into these claims and gave its findings to the city that the city manager is now reviewing.
According to the investigation, Chief Rosenfeld is accused of yelling at employees, calling employees fat, using derogatory slag, and creating a toxic work environment, which he has denied.
One employee told investigators he told her, "You look sexy when you’re mad" and another said he showed them a photo of a naked porn star on his phone, which made them feel uncomfortable.
The chief denied the claims when he was speaking with investigators but admitted he yells, saying, "I’m loud. My life is Police and Cocoa Beach. We will always have disgruntled employees trying to take the boss down."
Chief Rosenfeld has been on paid administrative leave since February.
According to the report, the company in charge of the investigation, HR Office Savers conducted more than 20 interviews, including with the chief. The private company typically provides human resource consulting to other companies, saying they have 20 years of experience, according to its website.
Cocoa Beach City Commissioner Skip Williams tells FOX 35 Orlando the police union recommended a different firm to handle the investigation.
"His character has been defamed be it right or wrong," said Commissioner Williams. "If you didn’t do the evaluation properly with an accredited firm – it’s not valid in my point."
The city manager is reviewing the completed investigation and will make a recommendation on the chief's status. Then, it would go to the city commission for a vote.
The city commissioner said he would have liked this to have been handled differently.
"It should have been worked through HR and the city manager and ended up in a performance improvement plan," said Commissioner Williams. "Go to this training, but not this where we are in jeopardy of a defamation of character lawsuit."
The mayor, city of Cocoa Beach and Cocoa Beach Police department did not want to provide further comment as this is an ongoing legal matter.