Edgartown selectmen appoint interim police chief

Edgartown selectmen voted to appoint an interim police chief. — Photo by Steve Myrick

Edgartown selectmen voted to appoint the town’s labor lawyer, Jack Collins, as the interim police chief, a post he will hold as he advises the selectmen on a successor to Chief Tony Bettencourt, who plans to retire on May 2.

Selectmen announced the decision on Jan. 21, but delayed the appointment after questions were raised about a possible conflict of interest. On the advice of town counsel Ron Rappaport, selectmen declared that Mr. Collins, in his role at the town’s labor attorney, is a special municipal employee. The board accepted disclosure forms from Mr. Collins that declared he has a financial interest in two town jobs at the same time.

Chairman Art Smadbeck and selectman Michael Donaroma voted in favor of the two measures. Selectman Margaret Serpa recused herself, because Chief Bettencourt is her nephew.

According to the contract approved Monday, Mr. Collins will be paid $3,100 per week during the temporary appointment as interim chief, which amounts to an annualized rate of $161,643. The employment agreement was effective on March 2. Chief Bettencourt’s current salary is $167,000 per year.