ELIZABETH — The director of the Elizabeth Police Department is under investigation for using racist and sexist terms to refer to staff, according to an attorney who filed an official complaint on behalf of officers.

Josh McMahon said he filed the complaint in February regarding repeated usage of offensive terms by Police Director James Cosgrove.

McMahon said he’s aware of about 20 employees who’ve given statements in an investigation by the Union County Prosecutor's Office over Cosgrove using the "N word" when talking about employees of color, and the "C word" when talking about women.

On Monday, the Union County Prosecutor’s Office said it “cannot confirm nor deny the existence of an investigation at this time.”

A group of protesters gathered outside the Prosecutor's Office Tuesday, as streamed on Facebook live, some with signs slamming such offensive language.

Emails sent to Mayor Chris Bollwage's office and Cosgrove's office were not returned Tuesday afternoon.

McMahon has represented officers against the Elizabeth Police Department before and also has accused Cosgrove of retaliating against officers for standing up to him.

Nearly three years ago, Elizabeth police officers took a vote of no confidence against Cosgrove, NJ Advance Media reported. The union representing officers and detectives voted first in June 2016, followed by the union representing sergeants, lieutenants and captains on the police force.

More from New Jersey 101.5:

Sign up for the NJ1015.com Newsletter

Get the best of NJ1015.com delivered to your inbox every day.