Tuesday evening's Southampton Town Board agenda includes a vote on promoting the captain of the town police department to chief, on a provisional basis.
Captain Robert Pearce has been acting in the capacity of chief since current Chief William Wilson announced Nov. 6 that he would retire. Though Wilson's retirement does not take effect until Dec. 1, he is using vacation time until then.
According to the text of the resolution to promote Pearce, the Civil Service Law authorizes the Town Board to make a provisional appointment when
the list of eligible candidates contains fewer than three candidates who are willing to accept the position.
The appointment would become effective Dec. 1, with a salary of $166,669.
Pearce was promoted in March from lieutenant to captain, to replace Captain Anthony Tenaglia, who retired after he was passed over for the chief's post. Pearce's promotion to captain came in a split vote, with the Republican and Conservative members of the board in favor, and the Democratic and Independence Party members opposed.
Wilson told Patch the he decided to retire after 18 months as the town's top cop because he had been blocked at every turn from making the kind of changes and improvements to the police department that he had hoped to when he was appointed. He said that a majority of the Town Board members — either because they are financially hog tied or because of internal board disputes — have not allowed him to accomplish what he set out to do.