Oak Bluffs FBI inquiry a mystery

‘Obviously they’ve been to town several times,” town administrator says. ‘It’s the worst-kept secret.’

An Oak Bluffs firefighter was airlifted on Saturday after sustaining injuries in a fall.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has made trips to the Oak Bluffs Fire Department for undisclosed reasons, town officials told The Times. Other than being described as relatively recent, the dates and times of these visits haven’t been made available. 

“We all know the FBI is examining issues in the fire department, and we all know they’ve been talking to some of the town’s employees and the chief, things of that nature, but they have decided at this point that they don’t want to make any statements, and I can’t make any statements on their behalf,” town administrator Robert Whritenour said Tuesday. “At some point, hopefully we can partner with any federal officials that are examining things and look at it together. But until they’re ready, I can’t certainly speak to anything that the federal government is doing, because we’ve not been made aware of exactly what that is.”

Whritenour went on to say he and his colleagues are eager to know more. “Stay tuned,” he said. “I mean, we’re all dying to hear, you know, what their issue is. Obviously they’ve been to town several times. It’s the worst-kept secret. But hopefully it will all emerge soon.”

Asked if the FBI came to town hall, Whritenour said no. 

“Just at the fire station … We know that representatives of the federal government have been at the fire station a couple of times [and] have asked that whatever they’re doing [remain] confidential, so it’s not for me to speak to.”

In a brief interview with The Times Monday afternoon, Oak Bluffs Fire Chief John Rose was visibly despondent when confirming the FBI has visited him. Chief Rose said he’d signed some type of instrument that prohibited him from disclosing what the FBI wanted. Whatever he signed also prevented him from revealing anything else about his or his department’s interactions with the FBI.

Oak Bluffs Police Lt. Tim Williamson said Tuesday that Police Chief Erik Blake was contacted by the FBI and was told the FBI would be going to the fire station. He said the FBI gave Chief Blake “zero information” about what they were looking into.

Assistant Oak Bluffs town administrator Wendy Brough told The Times Tuesday that she was unaware of FBI visits to the fire department. She then declined further comment. 

FBI Boston division spokesperson Laurel Sweet wasn’t able to illuminate what the agency was up to in Oak Bluffs. “We don’t ever confirm or deny the existence of investigations,” she said Tuesday.


  1. If the FBI will be returning to our island to conduct their mysterious investigation, perhaps, in an effort to save the taxpayers some money, the G-men could carpool with ICE.

    BTW- Whoever gets the pointy end of this, guilty or not, you are SCRRRREWED. You’ll plead so your family won’t go homeless. They are MONSTERS, and, if it’s gone this far, they’ve already got you.

  2. Well, well, well. That’s pretty bad when the local constabulary and town administration don’t know why a federal agency is conducting an investigation in their own back yard! Perhaps if they hadn’t been playing in the Zarba’s yard they might have a clue what is going on. How embarrassing!!!! I think it’s time for change in leadership across the board in OB. Maybe they could merge with Tisbury and share the shame.

  3. Well it’s for certain the FBI agents aren’t here on vacation or to apply for openings on the OPFD. Given the longstanding and unwavering support Whritenour and the Selectmen have given the chief why would the FBI share any info with Whritenour?

  4. Wait a minute… what could the FBI be looking at? Chief Roses best Cioffi impersonation, no. Maybe his union bashing techniques, no again. Oh gosh, maybe the fact there were or are elements of a criminal motorcycle gang operating out of the towns ambulance facility. All of this under the very noses of the police department and town administration. Time to change the top.

  5. The only mystery is if justice will actually be served and how many of those who knowingly covered for the activities of those being investigated will get their just desserts. This whole thing stinks to high heaven.

    • Islanduh, does your comment mean you know why the FBI was there? Can you share the reason with us? I have no idea what’s going on and am very concerned. Thanks.

  6. Impossible for the FBI or Islanders to keep a secret…it has to be obvious what this is about. A wooden nickel to whomever spills the beans first.

    • The FBI only investigates illegal things, usually big ones. They don’t hand out gold stars and participation trophies.

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