HARTFORD, Conn. — Connecticut state officials say they're investigating reports of "racially offensive incidents," which a state senator says includes a noose looped around the head of a toy chicken that was found hanging in a black state worker's office.

Republican State Sen. Heather Somers of Groton told The Hartford Courant that she was informed the noose was found in the office of a worker at the Department of Development Services regional office in Torrington.

Somers provided photos of the fake chicken in the noose to the newspaper.

Department of Development Services officials said Monday that they're "actively investigating reports of racially offensive incidents," but declined to elaborate. The department's commissioner says in an email to employees that it takes "all allegations of this nature very seriously."

The department provides housing and other services to people with intellectual disabilities.