Harrison detective accuses police chief of sexual harassmentPosted: Updated:
A Harrison detective is accusing Police Chief Michael Olsey of sexual harassment.
Detective Derka Abbate says she has been harassed by Olsey for almost six years. Olsey denies the allegations.
Abbate filed a complaint in the town of Harrison that details years of alleged harassment. She says it began when Olsey was a sergeant and would send her lewd texts, including one that read, "you and I should get together." Abbate says he also made sexual comments, but she kept quiet because she worried saying something would hurt her husband, who was also a police officer in the same department.
The complaint further states that Abbate didn't want the allegations getting out because she'd "seen the repercussions time and time again if you go against what's considered the boys club in the Harrison Police Department."
Abbate sent News 12 video in which she claims the now-police chief made her install surveillance cameras outside his home while she was on duty. She says he often joked about making her his secretary.
But the breaking point came when Abbate says Olsey grabbed her buttocks when they were taking pictures at an event with kids. She says it was time to fight back, saying, "I took an oath to serve and protect, but how can I protect anyone if I can't even protect myself. It's a sad thing when dreams are shattered by those who you are supposed to trust."
Although Abbate declined News 12's request for an interview, she did speak by phone, saying she's not the only woman who's been harassed. She says she has an attorney but she isn't filing a lawsuit, saying she simply wants to see Olsey be held accountable for his actions.
When News 12 spoke with the police chief Friday afternoon, he denied the allegations and said he wasn't aware of the complaint.