A West Tisbury police officer facing drunken driving charges has resigned from the department. Russell Ventura, 39, submitted a letter of resignation to West Tisbury police chief Daniel Rossi on Feb. 13. This week the West Tisbury selectmen accepted Mr. Ventura’s resignation without discussion by a vote of 2-0. Selectman Jeffrey (Skipper) Manter 3rd, a sergeant with the police department, abstained from the vote.
“This was not an easy decision for me,” Mr. Ventura wrote in his resignation letter. “After many hours of consideration, it is the best decision at this time. I wish you and the department every great fortune.”
He said the professional development and training he received from the department will always be appreciated.
Mr. Ventura, who had been with the department for four years, had been placed on administrative leave without pay after a clerk magistrate in Falmouth found probable cause to charge him with drunken driving, negligent operation of a motor vehicle and a marked lanes violation. Mr. Ventura was arraigned on the charges Tuesday in Edgartown district court.
The charges stemmed from a Jan. 16 single-car crash on Edgartown-West Tisbury Road, in which the Honda CR-V Mr. Ventura was driving allegedly hit a tree.