Tompkins County Sheriff Derek R. Osborne has announced the firing of a Tompkins County Sheriff Deputy after a complaint was made to an unspecified law enforcement agency in Cortland County.
The complaint, originally filed on November 9th, was of sheriff deputy Kristofer O’Rourke. O’Rourke was immediately placed on administrative leave after it was determined that the complaint was serious misconduct.
Through an investigation conducted by Undersheriff Olin, the complaint was determined to be true. The investigation found that there was inappropriate verbal communication of a sexual nature by O’Rourke to a member of the public while he was on duty.
On November 21st, O’Rourke was fired by Sheriff Osborne due to improper conduct based on the investigation. O’Rourke also lost his police officer certification and is now prevented from working with another law enforcement agency in the future.
It was just one day later though, November 22nd, that the New York State Police in Livingston County informed the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office that O’Rourke was being criminally investigated since August 2022 for a complaint received while he was then employed at the Geneseo Police Department.
On Monday, November 28th, State Police formally charged O’Rourke with Criminal Sex Act in the 3rd degree, a class E Felony, and Official Misconduct, a class A Misdemeanor. O’Rourke was sent back to Livingston County for arraignment.
“The Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the community member that came forward so that we could take swift and decisive disciplinary action. The Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office is dedicated to providing the highest quality law enforcement services to both residents and visitors of Tompkins County. I would like to apologize to the residents of Tompkins County, that despite our best efforts at conducting thorough background investigations of applicants, for having one slip through the cracks and potentially put people in our community at risk.” The Sheriff’s Department said in a press release.
The Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office is also urging residents who have had an inappropriate interaction with O’Rourke to contact the New York State Police at 585-390-4100.