Meisner terminated from Tisbury police

The town of Tisbury has agreed to pay Eerik Meisner $400,000 to settle his wrongful termination suit. — Gabrielle Mannino

Updated 1:35 pm

Eerik Meisner, who was demoted from lieutenant to sergeant in November, has been terminated by the Tisbury Police Department as of Wednesday afternoon.

Police Chief Mark Saloio said Meisner no longer works for the department, but wouldn’t confirm that Meisner had been fired. He referred questions to the town’s personnel director, town administrator Jay Grande.

“It’s a personnel matter, and I’m not going to comment on it,” said Grande, who is at the Massachusetts Municipal Association annual meeting in Boston. “We do appreciate [Meisner’s] service to the town.”

Typically, selectmen hire and fire police department employees, but the board was not involved in Meisner’s termination. “On the advice of counsel, I can’t discuss this,” Meisner said Thursday.

Meisner returned to the Tisbury Police Department in 2013 to become the department’s lieutenant, after spending about 20 years in Titusville, Fla. Meisner started his career as a special police officer in Tisbury in 2002.

In November, Saloio demoted Meisner to acting sergeant, saying the department’s staffing shortage was such that he needed sergeants more than he needed a second in command. At the time, Saloio said the change in Meisner’s position was not disciplinary in nature.

According to town records, Meisner’s base pay for lieutenant was $112,860 per year. His base pay dropped to $97,380 as a sergeant, but he was eligible for “shift differentials, overtime, and details,” Jon Snyder, the town’s finance director, wrote in an email. “Some weeks, his gross was actually higher as sergeant than it was when he was lieutenant, though most weeks it was lower,” he wrote.

Meisner had applied for the chief’s position, but was not a finalist for the job. Saloio was the lone finalist recommended by a screening committee.

Saloio is working on hiring two additional police officers to help with the department’s staffing shortage. Two individuals are undergoing background checks, and once those are completed Saloio expects to recommend them for hire by the board of selectmen, he said.

Saloio also made staffing changes as a result of a budget shortfall in the department, which is exacerbated by the selectmen’s decision to give former Chief Daniel Hanavan a one-year contract and then hire Saloio just four months into that deal — essentially putting taxpayers on the hook for two police chiefs in one calendar year.

Updated with comment from Grande. -Ed.



  1. Although this comes as welcome news, the public demands more information, if entitled.

    By now, after the matter concerning former Det. Morse in Oak Bluffs, the Times, and any other interested party, knows we want all public records from the police department’s internal affairs investigation of Meisner, if any. Now.

  2. Shocked! Shocked, I tell you. Why it seemed like just yesterday he was rescuing wayward rabbits and packing groceries into holiday shoppers trunks.
    Something is wrong with the system when such over qualifications do not merit some job security.

    • Doesn’t that all seem like what it was? A clumsy attempt to win goodwill for the then-active chief-selection process. Yikes. I think Meisner may have forgotten the first impression he made on many in town.
      We don’t need or want a shopping-trolley-jockey, nor a ‘rabbit resource officer’.

      Edgartown, as we’ve seen in these pages, continues to lead the way, and Tisbury would be wise to emulate them.

      What do we want?


      When do we want it?

      OMG, YOU GUYS!!

      • None of us will ever be as generous as the corporate chattel, Ooops! I mean… taxpayers, of Tisbury, as administered by the crack staff at Town Hall, when it comes to the largesse they’ve shown the troubled Tisbury Police Department.


  3. It never ceases to end in Tisbury. Seems like yesterday we were dealing with the McCarthy Gates / Sylvia etc etc. Since then how many times has Wasserman had to be called in. I dont think Wasserman ever had to be retained by any other island police departments.
    S***Can the selectmen and get good – strong people to run against these clowns.
    I hate paying taxes in this town but as my entire life have been the patrolmen’s supporter!
    I hope his new chief finally makes us proud as he has alot of ground to make up for..

  4. hard to criticize anyone without knowing any facts. it seems we ( ie– the times) should be able to get more info about this– until then, I would think commenters here would be prudent to withhold judgement .

  5. Perhaps the board of selectmen can try a new tactic: Let the Chief do his job without any political interference. Every other prior Chief had politicians sticking their nose into department business, hence the ‘revolving’ door of Chiefs and lawsuits. Fortunately due to vacant positions, this Chief will have the opportunity to hire those who he feels best fit the department, instead of ‘inheriting’ a roster of officers chosen by others.

    • This crew of Tiz selectmen put their noses in everything, always will. Truly the Junior League of Island leadership.

Comments are closed.