Lt. Paula Kronsperger, one of the highest-profile women at the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, is out on workers comp today as more allegations of sex-related wrongdoing rain on her.
Kronsperger, 41, executive officer of the warrants and fugitives unit, went on leave Oct. 11, PBSO spokeswoman Teri Barbera said.
For legal reasons, Barbera couldn’t discuss the reason. But two sources at the department said that months under Internal Affairs scrutiny and a new investigation by Human Resources have stressed out Kronsperger.
Four days before Kronsperger’s departure, as many as 20 of her employees descended on the office of HR honcho Joyce Stelling to file a federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint against Kronsperger.
Reason: Hostile work environment!
John Kazanjian, head of the local PBA union, confirmed the filing of the EEOC complaint.
“The sheriff (Ric Bradshaw) called me to ask if I could hold off some of my members from joining the EEOC action,” Kazanjian said. “But I couldn’t do it.”
The troops, meanwhile, are grumbling that it is highly unusual for a PBSO employee to be on workers comp for stress. Usually, stressed-out employees use the Family Medical Leave Act. The difference? Workers comp is paid. So PBSO is paying her $104,000 salary, Barbera confirmed.
“She was eligible,” Barbera said.
Since the summer, Kronsperger, the wife of another sheriff’s lieutenant, has been under investigation for allegations she had sex with subordinates, possibly on duty, in her previous gig as patrol supervisor. Kronsperger was transferred to a choice assignment at warrants, and she continued to work during the probe. Now, her new underlings say she’s creating a hostile work environment.
A PBSO source tells me a sergeant accused Kronsperger of touching a female employee inappropriately and using sexually charged language at meetings. Neither Stelling nor Kronsperger could be reached.