Tisbury chief assails officers and selectmen
Tisbury police chief John Cashin blistered members of his own department and criticized selectmen for their lack of support and management interference. He made his sharply worded comments in a telephone interview yesterday with The Martha's Vineyard Times, in reaction to rumors that he had resigned.
Tension within Chief Cashin's department and between the selectmen and the chief follow news reports last week that the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination is investigating a complaint brought against the Tisbury Police Department and the selectmen's office by the only female officer on the force.
This week, the rumored departure of Chief Cashin circulated among Island police officers. Tisbury officials reached by The Martha's Vineyard Times declined to speak on the record, but one person familiar with the situation said the chief's status would be resolved soon.
Chief Cashin said his rumored resignation was a "flagrant, outright, outrageous lie, among others." He said he had not discussed his contract renewal or his departure with selectmen. "I would call it wishful thinking on the part of several of my officers," said Mr. Cashin, "and that will be addressed."
Chief Cashin was sworn in as Tisbury's chief of police on September 5, 2006. He had formerly served as the investigative services commander in the Norwalk (Conn.) Department of Police Services.
The chief's three-year contract with the town of Tisbury included a starting salary of $80,388 for the first year and subsequent step increases over the next two years. He was hired following a year-long process after the Tisbury selectmen voted not to renew former police Chief Ted Saulnier's contract in June 2005, due to a salary dispute.
Yesterday, Chief Cashin said he had heard about his rumored resignation. "I can tell you that I did not resign," he said. "I can tell you that there's something in the works that is something less than contract negotiations, and I think it has to do more with communication between myself and the selectmen, and I guess some of the things that go on on this Island and that are being promulgated by everyone."
Mr. Cashin said he had been subjected to a litany of rumors concerning his sexual preference, his sanity, substance abuse, and off-duty calls. He said the rumors were personally frustrating and, he believed, part of a campaign to undermine his authority and management by some members of his department.