West Tisbury animal control officer fired

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Prudence Fisher went before the West Tisbury board of selectmen Friday. In executive session, the board voted to fire her as animal control officer.

Updated 7/14 5:15 pm

The West Tisbury animal control officer has been fired.

At a meeting Friday afternoon, the West Tisbury selectmen voted unanimously to terminate Prudence Fisher, effective immediately after a short hearing.

Two days earlier, the board voted to suspend Ms. Fisher without pay for 48 hours until they could meet with her to discuss why she had not told the board that her driver’s license had been suspended.

The hearing was held in executive session after a brief open session. Ms. Fisher left the town hall before the board returned to open session to announce its vote.

Ms. Fisher was still in the probationary period of her employment with the town.

On Wednesday, the selectmen chose to temporarily suspend Ms. Fisher because her driver’s license was suspended, the board’s chairman, Skip Manter, told The Times.

Assistant animal control officer Anthony Cordray has been appointed animal control officer by the board.

According to minutes released Thursday from the meeting on Wednesday, Mr. Manter said, “An out-of-state issue caused her license to be suspended, but … the situation had been rectified, and she expected her license to be reinstated in Massachusetts in time for the meeting on Friday.” The nature of what caused the license suspension was not discussed, according to the minutes.

Prudence Fisher walks toward West Tisbury town hall for a hearing on her job as animal control officer. – Rich Saltzberg

Mr. Manter expressed concern that Ms. Fisher had not notified the town immediately of her lack of a valid driver’s license, according to the minutes: “In the Personnel Bylaws, it is clearly stated that having a license is a requirement of her position as Animal Control Officer.”

Mr. Cordray told The Times Thursday he had “a good working relationship” with Ms. Fisher, and that they both came into town service at the same time — about nine months ago, following the retirement of longtime animal control officer Joan Jenkinson.

Ms. Fisher and Mr. Cordray completed Animal Control Officers Association of Massachusetts coursework between March and May at the Boylston Police Department, according to Mr. Cordray. They were both scheduled to take a one- to two-day core competency test this fall in Weymouth, he said.

The board will begin a search for a new assistant animal control officer at its next meeting.