WELCOME GUEST  |  LOG IN
meghan heckman, 2019 election
27east.com

Story - News

Jan 12, 2010 4:38 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

East Hampton harbormaster resigns after marijuana arrest

Jan 12, 2010 4:38 PM

East Hampton Town Senior Harbormaster Don Bousson, who was arrested last week on a marijuana possession charge, resigned from his job on Friday, according to Patricia Breen, the town’s director of human resources. He had been temporarily relieved of duty after his arrest.

Mr. Bousson’s resignation will end the town’s investigation into departmental charges against him, said Town Police Chief Todd Sarris.

Mr. Bousson, 55, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment last week after being arrested on January 4 and charged with criminal possession of marijuana in the third degree, a felony. Police stopped Mr. Bousson on Three Mile Harbor Road around 8 p.m. at a checkpoint after receiving an anonymous tip to Suffolk County Crime Stoppers that gave Mr. Bousson’s name, and a detailed description of him and his vehicle, Chief Sarris said.

He said that the call was received from Florida, from where Mr. Bousson was returning when his car was stopped and he was found with more than a half pound of marijuana. Chief Sarris said there was no indication of an intent to sell and rumors of a set-up were not being investigated.

“There was no reason to believe that it was a set-up, and also any accusation of harassment is unfounded,” he said. “The arrest was made by established police practices heard by the court for years. The fact is that the information was so detailed that it gave us probable cause to inquire to whether it was factual.”

At his arraignment, Mr. Bousson’s attorney told Justice Catherine Cahill that Mr. Bousson has lived and worked in East Hampton for 21 years and this was his first arrest.

Chief Harbormaster Ed Michels, who had to file the departmental charges against Mr. Bousson, said Mr. Bousson met with Ms. Breen last week to discuss his resignation. Ms. Breen said she could not discuss details of that discussion, but that Mr. Bousson’s letter of resignation was submitted on Friday.

Mr. Michels said Mr. Bousson had been considering retirement before his arrest. He said Mr. Bousson did not discuss the decision to resign with him.

“He’s got 21 years in this town so it was on the table anyway,” he said. “Maybe he just decided this was the best way to go.”

Mr. Michels said Mr. Bousson was well liked in the department.

“It’s sad to see him go,” he said. “He’s been here a long time and a lot of experience goes out the door with him. But things change.”

Ms. Breen said Mr. Bousson was considered a Tier 4 employee under the New York State retirement system, which means he was vested in his pension after five years of employment. She said the criminal charge does not affect Mr. Bousson’s pension and neither would a conviction.

When reached on his cell phone on Friday, Mr. Bousson declined to comment.

You've read 1 of 7 free articles this month.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

nice mug shot.
By Shannandoah (6), sag harbor on Jan 12, 10 1:37 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Dr.Rhythm (10), E.Hampton on Jan 13, 10 9:07 AM
What a terrible picture! I think you guys - 27east - could do better!
By MartyMcDougal (24), Providence on Jan 12, 10 1:38 PM
Maybe he has narcolepsy?
By it never ends... (25), SMITHTOWN on Jan 12, 10 2:48 PM
Hey Guys and Girls : Its a police mugshot - 27East didn't take it.
By PrivateerMatt (390), Weesuck Creek , EQ on Jan 12, 10 3:25 PM
2 members liked this comment
hey! how about that! common sense - refreshing.
By Shannandoah (6), sag harbor on Jan 12, 10 4:44 PM
they have more pictures of him on file than this one!
By MartyMcDougal (24), Providence on Jan 26, 10 1:07 PM
C'mon, it's just a lil' reefer...
By Mr. Z (11659), North Sea on Jan 12, 10 6:04 PM
Cmon 27 east - do you really need to embarrass the guy further with this picture?
By slamminsammy (104), East Moriches on Jan 12, 10 11:30 PM
2 members liked this comment
Seriously, it is NOT a photo that needed to be posted online or printed in the Press!

Don, I don't know you but I am sorry that this had to happen. However, I am happy that you were fully vested. I hope you get to move on to something else you enjoy with the benefits of retirement in hand. Easier said then done, don't look back!! Good Luck!!!!
By wondering (63), Southampton on Jan 13, 10 6:04 AM
... now Mr. Bousson , I want you to close your eyes and think of your 'happy place' . When you open your eyes , this will all have been just a bad dream .
By AndersEn (173), Southampton on Jan 13, 10 7:03 AM
1 member liked this comment
How did an anonymous caller from FLORIDA know exactly what time he'd be driving through 3 Mile Harbor? Very fishy. Oops, I just made a funny!
By Undertow (64), Southampton on Jan 13, 10 9:14 AM
It's a little goofy that New Jersey just passed a law for medical use and California has just created a bill that would allow for recreational use for those over 21 and this guy, who, by all accounts was effective in his job has to quit. That being said, it really was a lot of pot. We all make poor decision, some are just a little dumber than others I guess.
By HarborDad (37), Sag Harbor on Jan 13, 10 10:47 AM
Reefer is harmless BUT the law IS the law.
By PrivateerMatt (390), Weesuck Creek , EQ on Jan 13, 10 12:33 PM
Chief Sarris says "probable cause?"

"Reasonable suspicion" to STOP the vehicle based solely on an anonymous phone call? Maybe.

"Consent" to search? Not voluntary IMO. Did the police record the conversation of "consent" and if not why not?

"Probable Cause" to search vehicle without consent, based solely on an anonymous call? No way IMO. The specificity of the information concerned basic info. about the driver and vehicle. If this is probable cause because it was specific, ...more
By PBR (4951), Southampton on Jan 13, 10 12:43 PM
In light of the fact that he resigned ,he must have thought that there was some validity to the case against him.
By Bayman1 (297), Sag Harbor on Jan 13, 10 6:48 PM
I think the pension was the motivating factor to his resignation.
What a shame.
By ELECTRICUTIONER (65), east islip/montauk on Jan 14, 10 12:23 PM
Bayman1,

I disagree on the procedural search and seizure issues -- a very questionable search IMO (based on the facts we know at least). With a fully vested pension, why stick around to slug it out with myopic bureaucrats whose egos are on the line?

The harm done to The Constitution's protections against unreasonable searches and seizures since 9/11 is sad indeed, especially given that those in charge of protecting our rights ARE the ones doing the damage. Very short-term nearsighted ...more
By PBR (4951), Southampton on Jan 14, 10 1:00 PM
you just know the cops are all smoking his weed too

the wankers!!

Free D.B.
By C Law (350), Water Mill on Jan 13, 10 1:39 PM
Ain't that the truth.
By oldhippie (10), East Hampton on Jan 14, 10 12:28 PM
Although I don't fault the Press for running it, you'd think the PD could have at least done him the favor of taking a second mug shot.
By CoweeDewey (110), East Quogue on Jan 13, 10 2:00 PM
Yup, it's a bad mug shot, alright. The comment by Chief Sarris (“There was no reason to believe that it was a set-up, and also any accusation of harassment is unfounded,” he said. “The arrest was made by established police practices heard by the court for years. The fact is that the information was so detailed that it gave us probable cause to inquire to whether it was factual.”) is a perfect example of convoluted logic, disrespect for the Constitution and self-protection. There is no sense in his ...more
By oldhippie (10), East Hampton on Jan 14, 10 12:35 PM
The Chief is being inconsistent.

On the one hand, he says that an anonymous telephone tip was somehow "so detailed" that the PD accepted it as fact, and that it justified the stop and search. But on the other hand, the same (presumably) anonymous, but also highly detailed, "tip" that there was a setup is not accepted as fact and instead is dismissed by the PD as "rumor."

In fact, there have been a number of posters on these boards that have provided details and motive for a possible ...more
By CoweeDewey (110), East Quogue on Jan 14, 10 1:46 PM
If it's any consolation, Nick Nolte looks a bit better than his famous mug these days. I think it's a shame that marijuana possession forces a guy to resign (or get jail time) when a case of Scotch (MUCH more lethal and addictive) in the car would be perfectly legal. We're headed towards eventual decriminalization of pot, I hope, taking the profit away from dangerous traffickers and possibly reducing alcohol consumption.
By SummerOldie (2), Southampton on Jan 14, 10 4:57 PM
Politics ...
By AndersEn (173), Southampton on Jan 14, 10 6:14 PM
... but really , they shoulda woke him up before taking that picture .
By AndersEn (173), Southampton on Jan 14, 10 6:16 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By sjd (420), Westhampton Beach on Jan 19, 10 10:01 PM
power tools, home improvements, building supplies, Eastern Long Island