Police officer facing possible discipline again

Officer Santon back on paid leave; hearing set for Friday.

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Officer Mark Santon will be back before Tisbury selectmen Friday for a disciplinary hearing. - Stacey Rupolo

Tisbury Police Officer Mark Santon is on paid administrative leave again pending a disciplinary hearing before the board of selectmen scheduled for Friday morning, town administrator Jay Grande said.

The hearing is scheduled for 11 am to “review personnel matters,” Mr. Grande said. Officer Santon was placed on leave Friday, Dec. 8, Mr. Grande said.

“I don’t feel I’m at liberty to go beyond that,” he said.

He declined to say what those personnel matters are, but Officer Santon has recently come under scrutiny for his handling of a drunk driving arrest. In September, Officer Santon charged a New York man with operating under the influence of alcohol even though his car was parked, the keys weren’t in the ignition and the hood of the vehicle was cool to the touch, according to another officer’s report of the incident.

Justin Kuruvilla, the man charged, will seek dismissal of the OUI charge at a hearing scheduled for Thursday in Edgartown District Court.

Officer Santon has faced other issues, as well. More recently, he’s been part of the ongoing probe into Assistant District Attorney Laura Marshard. The Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers, which has been investigating Ms. Marshard, asked for disciplinary records involving Officer Santon because he testified at a rape trial prosecuted by Ms. Marshard while he was out on paid leave last spring. There are questions about whether Ms. Marshard informed the defense lawyers that Officer Santon was under investigation.

Officer Santon was suspended five days by selectmen after a disciplinary hearing in May. He was found to have lied to an independent investigator about a January arrest. While his cruiser was parked at the Dukes County jail and Officer Santon was inside, the woman prisoner wiggled out of her handcuffs and attempted suicide.

In 2015, he faced a two-day suspension — one day for spreading a fabricated story about a supervisor and the other for tampering with a laptop he turned in to the department.