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Nov 6, 2012 10:32 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

UPDATE: Throne-Holst Promises 'A Seamless And Positive Transition' For Police Department

Nov 6, 2012 2:13 PM

UPDATE: Tuesday, 1:36 p.m.

Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst, in an emailed statement Tuesday afternoon, said she respects Chief Wilson’s decision to resign, maintained that some of his policy ideas are still priorities for her, and said she will do her best to ensure a smooth transition to a new chief.

The supervisor’s full statement:

“I respect Chief Wilson’s decision and want to thank him for his good service to the town. I, too, share his admiration and respect for the men and women who serve the Southampton [Town] Police Department. I want to assure all that I will do my utmost to [ensure] a seamless and positive transition.

“I also share Chief Wilson’s concern with regard to proper staffing levels and the need for the implementation of modern police technologies, which have been and remain a priority for me.

“I have confidence [that] the current management at the Southampton [Town] Police Department will work together with us, the Town Board, and their fellow police officers, toward an effective transition.

“In the next few days, I will be conferring with my fellow board members to develop a transition plan and a proactive course leading to the next phase of leadership for the police department.

“Again, I thank Chief Wilson for his service to the town and wish him the very best.”

Later, in response to a question about who is currently leading the force, she said Captain Robert Pearce is acting in his capacity as executive officer.

All other details will be released after the Town Board convenes for a work session on Thursday, she said.

UPDATE: Tuesday, 12:44 a.m.

Chief Wilson will not return to his post and will close out the month using vacation and sick time until his resignation takes effect December 1. He begins his new job on January 1, 2013.

The Town Board never issued him a contract during his 18 months in the chief’s post, but, just recently, on October 23, passed a resolution spelling out written terms of his employment.

UPDATE: Tuesday, 10:42 a.m.

Reached by phone, Chief Wilson said he is leaving his post to pursue another opportunity, although he declined to elaborate.

He said his resignation was unrelated to the recent settlement of the charges against Lt. Kiernan, who was scheduled to return to work on November 1 after an approximately five-month suspension on dozens of disciplinary charges.

Rather, the chief said his departure was prompted by budgetary restrictions and factors among the Town Board members that did not allow him to move the department forward.

“For the good of the town and the police department and myself, I’m going to move forward with another opportunity and hope to have more of an impact there,” he said.


Southampton Town Police Chief William Wilson Jr. has resigned from his post effective December 1, 2012.

The chief announced his resignation in an email Tuesday morning he sent to Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst and the town’s labor attorney Vincent Toomey.

“I would like to thank you, and the Board, for the opportunity to serve with the men and women of the Town PD, they are a talented group of law enforcement professionals,” the chief wrote. “The people of the Town of Southampton are fortunate to have police officers of their calibre.

“I urge the Board to reconsider its position regarding funding of the police department. Lack of staff, technology infrastructure and equipment are making it increasingly difficult to provide effective services to the community. For the good of the Town and future of the STPD, please provide them the resources necessary to fulfill their critical mission,” he wrote.

He did not indicate in the email what his next move will be.

Chief Wilson was sworn in as chief of the East End’s largest law enforcement agency in May 2011, succeeding longtime former Chief James Overton. Chief Wilson had served about 26 years in the Southampton Village Police Department, where he became chief in 2006.

His term with the town was tumultuous, including ongoing investigations with Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas J. Spota’s office regarding the alleged removal and/or destruction of sensitive police documents from headquarters shortly before he took office, as well as the department’s Street Crime Unit, an undercover anti-drug squad. Throughout his term, he and the Republican/Conservative Town Board majority often clashed on policies.

His resignation comes shortly after the settlement of a disciplinary case involving Lieutenant James Kiernan.

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damn shame, thats all i got......now who ? County PD ?
By BCHBUM11968 (81), SOUTHAMPTON on Nov 6, 12 10:57 AM
well, good luck in whatever you have planned, we are sure you will succeed in whatever you chose chief.
By BCHBUM11968 (81), SOUTHAMPTON on Nov 6, 12 11:00 AM
Cant blame the man been fighting up hill since he got that job. They should just fold that department what a shame and a disgrace. The Town Board should be embarrassed and move on themselves. Sounds like politics myself. What did Board members and the Supervisor get for this move. How much did he take going out the door. They are all corrupt. Bring the County P.D. or the Sheriffs out and end the soap-opera.
By carson (79), southampton on Nov 6, 12 11:50 AM
1 member liked this comment
The Town really squandered its opportunity to have a good Chief.
By eastpoint (4), hb on Nov 6, 12 12:05 PM
2 members liked this comment
Sure, the great American lie - just like the military, "it was a training exercise people". There's something afoot.
By BIGjimbo12 (201), East Quogue on Nov 6, 12 12:15 PM
They should have appointed Tenaglia. He was more qualified and he wouldn't have quit when the going got tough.

By Steven (113), Westhampton on Nov 6, 12 12:33 PM
Your views are interesting. Why in your opinion should Tenaglia have been appointed??? You must be blind to the reality that the local municipalities top to bottom are corrupt. Every single police force should have a leader that is qualified and knows what is best for the community as well as the police force. The whole "keep it within the department" is grounds for failure. A new view and a new agenda is important. Chief Wilson is the most qualified Police Chief on the east end. Good luck ...more
By steve5181 (2), hamptons on Nov 6, 12 8:15 PM
Tenaglia did quit when it got tuff. He faked an injury and left when he didn't get what he wanted (Chief-Hood) I heard. Not a leader at all. Robert Pearce will do the Job and do it well ! And his pants aren't as high I hear.
By carson (79), southampton on Nov 6, 12 8:27 PM
2 members liked this comment
So the Town Board appointed him and gave him such a battle with everything he presented to them and now this Chief is resigning. I don't blame him, the board tied his hands. He did not quit the town board quit on him..........shameful. It will be a loss to the Southampton Town PD and the community they serve. Certain members of the board I'm sure are happy, they got what they wanted, maybe now these giant babies will remove the pacifiers from there mouths and actually work for the people who made ...more
By rjhdad (73), southampton on Nov 6, 12 12:44 PM
2 members liked this comment
So the Conservative Party finally told Honest Jim Malone to bail on the chief. What's next?
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Nov 6, 12 12:50 PM
Malone is just doing his job and speaks his mind, unlike the rest. Good job Jim !!!!
By carson (79), southampton on Nov 9, 12 5:59 PM
Malone is a good boy who does as the Conservative Party Chair tells him to do.
By Phadreus1340 (144), Southampton on Nov 6, 12 2:07 PM
Bottom line - the guy was in over his head from day one. His plan to get rid of Kiernan backfired and he got caught in a pack of lies. Don't be surprised if he's the one to get indicted.
By semaj (10), riverside on Nov 6, 12 2:11 PM
Agree with your assessment..."in over his head.." Wilson was like a spoiled child who when he didn't get everything he wanted he whined that his resignation was prompted by "budgetary restrictions." Are we to believe that this supposed leader wasn't aware, when he took the job, that managing a large department would have budget (monetary) restrictions. Give me a break. I guess he forgot that he was working for the already over burdened taxpayer.
By Tennyson (77), Quogue on Nov 6, 12 3:20 PM
Don't speak to loud quite yet semaj. The only one who got caught was the one who plead guilty. Still rumblings about something coming semaj you may be sorry !
By carson (79), southampton on Nov 6, 12 8:31 PM
By Toma Noku (616), uptown on Nov 6, 12 3:24 PM
Good riddance! He shouldn't even get paid through December 1, where has he been during the whole hurricane crisis?! I haven't seen or heard anything from him in weeks. He probably knew he'd get heat from the public for being absent and decided to start pointing fingers at others before that could happen.
By hb guy (17), Hampton Bays on Nov 6, 12 3:34 PM
The same could probably be said for you hb guy...where have you been??? Obviously to busy on here pointing fingers as you put it at the police chief for not being there during the hurricane crisis...just for your information, 80 miles west of where you reside, people lost everything, everything you are taking for granted tonight in your warm home, with electricity, pictures of your family, food in your kitchen. But you are on here talking about a police chief who resigned...be careful who you point ...more
By steve5181 (2), hamptons on Nov 6, 12 8:28 PM
seamless transmission means politically connected to those now in power. Nothing else.
By Sandflea (35), Southampton on Nov 6, 12 4:35 PM
Isn't that the truth. I hope the GOP is happy.
By tenn tom (259), remsenburg on Nov 6, 12 4:41 PM
We hardly knew ya.
By dnice (2346), Hampton Bays on Nov 6, 12 4:45 PM
No you got to get rid of Toomey. What did the Kiernan fiasco end up costing the town and how much did Toomey get?
By Wow (2), Islip on Nov 6, 12 4:53 PM
ATH at her best
By EastEnd68 (888), Westhampton on Nov 6, 12 4:53 PM
1 member liked this comment
There hasn't been a leader above the rank of Sgt in that place until Chief Wilson came in....through politics and Republican BS he's leaving and the only people its going to affect is the taxpayers and patrol forces of the department. Tenaglia is obviously still pulling the strings of the board with his henchman Marietta, who's going to take over now? Pearce? or the Republican Committeeman Kiernan (who's "discipline" I suspect will be swept under the carpet so he can continue his track). Stay ...more
By mrobin (121), North Sea on Nov 6, 12 5:03 PM
Chief Wilson never should have been given the job to begin with. There were far better qualified candiates, some from within the department. For political reasons, the town reached out to a chief of an inferior police department that has been a joke for decades, the Southampton Village Police. Hopefully the Town Board does the right thing this time and promote from within the ranks of the exiting Southampton Town Police Department.
By Walt (292), Southampton on Nov 6, 12 5:43 PM
2 members liked this comment
leave Toomey out of it.....and leave billy out of it too.....goood luck billy.......toomey is the best atty.........
By local39 (14), southampton on Nov 6, 12 6:12 PM
ATH: "I . . . want to thank him for his good service to the town."

"good service" = a bit frosty IMO.

What is boiling below the surface?

I guess we will never hear from Chief Wilson about his reasons for not releasing the name and photo of Sister Walsh's hit-and-run driver for 11 days! This investigation appears to have lost all steam, almost FOUR months after the heinous crime.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Nov 6, 12 7:00 PM
3 members liked this comment

Now that Chief Wilson is gone, will they bring back the wonderful old police patch that showed all the historical roots of our beautiful township????? Lets bring Tony out of retirement.
By unclemilt (57), southampton on Nov 6, 12 7:42 PM
2 members liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By carson (79), southampton on Nov 6, 12 8:35 PM
yes!! bring him out of retirement! hopefully there headquarters can accommodate a Jazzy or Wheelchair from the injury he "retired"on. "Tony" was a crook and should never have made Capt....... After many years of dealing with the PD the only person from the old regime that should be brought back should be Ighberger(spelling?).
By mrobin (121), North Sea on Nov 7, 12 6:39 PM
1 member liked this comment
so when is the supervisor putting in her resignation ?
this man was never qualified for the job to begin with . it was the supervisor that wanted him there in the first place now he wants to leave ?
maybe most of you only read occasionally but I remember when it was the chief that wanted to get rid of all the experienced officers claiming that would solve the budget issue lol .
it turned out that not only did he get rid of the people that maintained the department but submitted ...more
By yourit (2), quogue on Nov 7, 12 1:23 AM
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“To oppose corruption in government is the highest obligation of patriotism.”
― G. Edward Griffin
By Geppetto (59), Southampton on Nov 7, 12 8:57 AM
1 member liked this comment
I don't think the chief realized how poliical this job ended up being. best wishes to him wherever he goes and whatever he ends up doing will be a plus! the town board should get their heads out of their a***s as the police dep't needs to be properly staffed and upgraded to do the job Chief Wilson tried to accomplish
By marcd (7), southampton on Nov 7, 12 2:20 PM
Hopefully they repaint the police cars
By EastEnd68 (888), Westhampton on Nov 7, 12 3:34 PM
Spota's office really dropped the ball on this one. This police department was on the verge of breaking free from political obstruction and just lost the one man capable of spearheading the transition.
By vaquero (12), Watermill on Nov 7, 12 7:46 PM
1 member liked this comment
The chief takes an un-scheduled vacation the day before the super storm that destroyed the east coast and you people defend him? This is the same chief who took an oath to protect life and property and then is MIA during the largest weather event of the past 75 years. Your standards are shamefully low.

I heard that he was asked by the Feds to become the next home land security czar, following in the foot steps of his idol, former NYC Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik. :)
By Jm225316 (18), Holbrook on Nov 7, 12 7:52 PM
2 members liked this comment
Why so angry JM225316 ? Like if Chief Wilson was around during the storm he was going to wade through the winds to rescue you. I am sure the Police Department is well equipped to handle almost anything when one person should be absent that day. I am sure if you missed work one day I am sure the JOB gets done. And remember don't blow its just an expression.
By carson (79), southampton on Nov 7, 12 10:53 PM
I’m sure the citizens of new York would have thought the same if their governor was MIA as well . stop the B--- s--
By yourit (2), E.Quogue on Nov 8, 12 11:03 AM
1 member liked this comment
Like, I don't expect the chief of police to rescue anyone, like just, take the leadership roll he was hired to do and coordinate the emergency services in this, the largest town on the east end, like? I'm sure the police deptarment is well equipt. But obviously the chief wasn't as mentally equipt to handle the pressure.

He was good at creating a work place so toxic that only his little trolls
With the sole purpose of destroying others reputations could easily operate without impunity ...more
By Jm225316 (18), Holbrook on Nov 8, 12 7:33 PM
The only person in the police department that went on an un-scheduled vacation was the suspended Lt.:)

Super storm Sandy has nothing to do with the plot to get rid of the chief.
By Geppetto (59), Southampton on Nov 8, 12 8:56 AM
1 member liked this comment
The only plot against the chief was created by the chief. He created the environment that allowed a true plot by unscrupulous and morally corrupt individuals to attempt to defame a dedicated and loyal employee. They failed as they all eventually do. Lets hope what goes around applies here . We can only hope!
By Jm225316 (18), Holbrook on Nov 9, 12 12:10 AM
Look in the mirror JM22&^$%&
By carson (79), southampton on Nov 9, 12 5:46 PM
What? Are we in third grade? Tell your mother your on her computer!
By Jm225316 (18), Holbrook on Nov 9, 12 7:16 PM

once the "Flagship" of East End Township P.D. s...
The men and women who currently serve and protect ..are but doomed passangers aboard the current "Titanic"... with what appears to be countless icebergs ahead!!!!!!

With leadership... both Professionally and Politically abandoning ship... what expectations would now be highlighted as "Redemption"???
In the absence of Pride,Performance and attainable Goal Setting... buttoning up that Blue Shirt..with the "Patch ...more
By kahuna (70), Tampa on Nov 8, 12 11:52 AM
Are you people kidding me? The Chief despite resistence from the board every step, paid to have the interior of the pd painted out of his own pocket, secured tasers for his staff with independent funding as well as police cars. He has tried to stamp out corruption that has been going on for years with republican golden children and you think he hasn't done a good job or proven his worth. He was brought to the town under false pretenses! ATH should crawl in a hole for taking him from his secure job ...more
By sunnydays (43), Hampton Bays on Nov 8, 12 12:22 PM
3 members liked this comment
sunnydays, "He tried to stamp out corruption that has been going on for years"

Does that include his past indiscretions (corruption) during his village days? If you include his running out on the town during this past weeks disaster and finally resigning for the good of all parties than I agree with your somewhat misguided post.
By Jm225316 (18), Holbrook on Nov 8, 12 1:22 PM
It appears he was trying to stamp out the corruption that had run rampant and still does with the powers that be in that place..... Tenaglia learned it from Overton and KIERNAN learned it from both of them. However being hooked with the Republicans will get you anything in this town. I give Wilson credit for staying so long and can only hope that now that he's not employed by the town he stands on the steps of town hall and tells everyone how it is.....Maybe even the US Attorneys office.
By mrobin (121), North Sea on Nov 8, 12 2:54 PM
While the SHTPD Superior Officers and the Political hacks duke it out, our local schools are filled with drugs. Thanks! Great work!
By G (342), Southampton on Nov 8, 12 4:01 PM
Please, G, elaborate on that. You're a whiner always have been. There are no more , or less drugs available to kids here than in western Suffolk or Nassau. If you haven't noticed, the "War on Drugs" started ny President Nixon is a miserable failure. If politicians, (even those that didn't inhale) had any marijuanna should have been legalized years ago. Now, try and find me some decent coke or horse, will ya?
By Phadreus1340 (144), Southampton on Nov 8, 12 5:59 PM
Let me get this straight you think we should legalize drugs? If you want to talk about failures the ending of prohibition has been a failure. Alcohol has caused millions of cases of domestic violence, divorces, and thousands of deaths while people are under the influence. I once read an article that 90% of the two million people in prison either had a drug or alcohol problem. We have these problems with alcohol can you imagine drugs in the mix?
We have become a nutty society by telling our ...more
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Nov 14, 12 8:21 AM
Nothing nutty about the facts, chief. Heart disease (as a resul of obesity) is still the #1 cause of death in the US.
By johnj (1024), Westhampton on Nov 14, 12 9:41 AM
So let me understand this. The left says you can do whatever you want with your body including abortion. But they are against you eating a big mac? The country is on a path to disaster.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Nov 14, 12 10:14 AM
Chief is a great leader. I wish you well my friend.
By MR.? (8), southampton on Nov 8, 12 9:53 PM
Did Kiernan plead guilty to anything?

Did Wilson really take off from work during Sandy?

These are a couple of the questions of whose answers I am uncertain.

But they are only the most current ones. I'd like to know how Wilson came to be chosen in the first place, and, most important of all, how Kiernan could be suspended on 20 charges and then be allowed to return to duty without penalty.

The opaque curtain that the Town Council has drawn over everything concerning ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Nov 8, 12 10:04 PM
1 member liked this comment
Ditto -- our own Southampton Town Board has become like England's notorious Star Chamber which precipitated the American Revolution.

"There is something rotten in Denmark," Anna.

Time to tell the Truth.

Hmmm, or is this too novel a concept?
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Nov 9, 12 6:47 AM
What deal did ANNA make with the Republicans. She seems to have figured out the system of politics quite quickly. Bring back Kabot and happy hour in Westhampton. They are all just passing ships !! Bring in the Sheriffs or the Staties !!
By carson (79), southampton on Nov 9, 12 5:57 PM

What would you or anyone else on this board do with the information you seek? Although many of you have good intentions, it all ends after the submit button is pushed and the story falls off the front page.
By Geppetto (59), Southampton on Nov 9, 12 7:26 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By G (342), Southampton on Nov 9, 12 6:06 AM
Do tell now, show us where the "elite" street crime unit made a single arrest in a school. Or even connected a drug dealer to the drugs iin a school.
You have no clue as to what you are talking about.
By Phadreus1340 (144), Southampton on Nov 9, 12 11:01 AM
Dont insult the great shtpd in front of Phadreus he will defend their incompetance to the grave. Call the SHTPD and they will never follow up nor will a detective ever call you back. It's a disgusting mess and to add to the insult we pay some of them over 250k a year. Then we have to pay them another 20 to 30 years of retirement for the crap job they did. Not to mention every cop knows someone or is related to someone on the force or town govt. Pretty sick!!! This country will never learn till there ...more
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Nov 13, 12 6:55 PM
I was hoping that G would answer my question, Chief1. Unless he is your alter ego, leave it alone. The fact the both of you complain in most of your posts, have never once sounded like a reasonable person, makes me believe you ARE the same person.
I'll ask you this from above: Do you really believe in reinstituting Prohibition? Are you friggin' serious?
The SHTPD is in dire need of leaership for the long term. WHy don't you volunteer?
Chief1, do tell how enforcement of outdated drug ...more
By Phadreus1340 (144), Southampton on Nov 19, 12 9:45 AM
Without penalty ? I think not highatsize. I say get rid of this entire sinking ship and make sure the bullies of the PBA and the corrupt Superior Officer are at the bottom of the ship when it goes down !!!!!
By carson (79), southampton on Nov 9, 12 5:53 PM
Carson, are you bipolar? Did you not just say on the other article that Pearce should have been chief from the beginning? He is the president of the SOA. Just goes to show that no one on here knows a freaking thing about the pd! And no it was not without penalty...do your homework! Fact can be your friend!
By sunnydays (43), Hampton Bays on Nov 9, 12 6:19 PM
1 member liked this comment
The reinstatement of Kiernan without penalty (unless his suspension is considered a penalty); the announcement of Wilson's resignation timed to be buried by election news, and the tepid farewell by the supervisor all indicate that there is more information to come that the parties did not succeed in suppressing.
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Nov 10, 12 3:54 PM
3 members liked this comment
Did anyone check with the chief ? Was this a planned vacation , doesn't a good leader put people in places or positions where they can be trusted and knows their jobs well , and don't need the chief micromanaging the whole dept . Lets see how many retirements Come outta this . Wish he stayed to see some of the head AH's get voted out of office next yr !
By BCHBUM11968 (81), SOUTHAMPTON on Nov 11, 12 9:47 PM