Carwise Middle School Deputy Retired Under Investigation After Sexual Harassment Allegations
Pinellas School Resource Deputy, 52 year-old Bernard D’Agostino has retired while under investigation, after sexual harassment allegations.
D’Agostino was assigned as a school resource deputy at Carwise Middle School located at 3301 Bentley Drive in Palm Harbor.
According to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, they were made aware of the allegations on Monday, October 1, 2018.
According to the investigation, a letter was received that alleged two incidents of sexual harassment occurring toward a school employee.
During the week of September 17, 2018, it was alleged Deputy D’Agostino walked up behind the school employee and placed both hands on her hips, from behind, without her permission.
On September 26, 2018, it was alleged Deputy D’Agostino again walked up behind the same school employee while she was talking with insurance representatives.
The representatives had a small table set up with snacks for the employees. The school employee asked if she could have a banana, and Deputy D’Agostino offered to get her one. Deputy D’Agostino then asked the school employee if she would like “a bent one or a straight one,” insinuating the bananas were penises. After making the statement, Deputy D’Agostino laughed and continued to make inappropriate comments to the school employee, while handing her the banana.
These allegations were confirmed by witnesses to the incident.
The school employee did not initially report the first incident, until both incidents were reported in the letter received on October 1, 2018.
Immediately upon learning of the allegations, Deputy D’agostino was removed from his assignment as a school resource deputy at Carwise Middle School.
When interviewed, Deputy D’Agostino did not recall touching the school employee, but admitted to making the statement regarding the bananas. Deputy D’Agostino stated he did not intend to make the implication that the banana was a penis.
Investigators say Deputy D’Agostino was notified that he would be reassigned to patrol and placed under an administrative investigation, at which time he decided to retire effective October 9, 2018.
D’Agostino was hired by the agency October 1, 1998.