The manager of the Martha’s Vineyard Airport was involved in a domestic disturbance last Friday that resulted in the arrest of his wife and dual restraining orders between the two, police reports show.
Detailed reports prepared by Edgartown police recount a scene in which Rebecca Donnelly allegedly threw a can of fruit punch at Sean C. Flynn after they argued over her claims that he had been abusing prescription drugs.
The Martha’s Vineyard Airport Commission has scheduled a special executive session for Wednesday; the time of the meeting was changed to noon as of Monday this week.
The notice of the meeting that was emailed to commissioners last Thursday included an attached copy of the police report.
“I’m very grateful that we’re having a meeting,” airport commissioner Christine Todd told the Gazette Thursday afternoon. “I have a lot of questions for my fellow commissioners and I have a lot of questions for the manager,” she said.
Airport commission chairman Norman Perry, who called the executive session, said he had seen the police report, but had no comment on it. He said Mr. Flynn had been at work this week.
The Gazette attempted to reach Mr. Flynn by telephone and email on Thursday but had not received a reply by 6 p.m.
The airport commission has been grappling with a variety of personnel issues over the past few months, in public and private meetings, starting with a complaint brought by former employee Beth Tessmer against Mr. Flynn, charging sexual harassment and workplace retaliation. Ms. Tessmer was subsequently terminated and is appealing her dismissal.
Separately, the airport commission — which is appointed by the county commission — has filed a lawsuit against the county, asking a judge to declare its legal autonomy in managing and administering airport affairs. That case is pending in Dukes County superior court.
Airport commissioners have also been wrangling over the development of a personnel policy which could include a clause governing drug and alcohol use in the workplace by nonunion employees, including management. The issue remains unsettled.
Mr. Flynn has been airport manager since 2005. His contract extends through June 2015.
According to police, Mr. Flynn’s wife, Rebecca Donnelly, was arrested and charged with assault and battery Friday afternoon following a disturbance at the home they share in Edgartown.
In two detailed police reports, Edgartown Det. Sgt. Chris Dolby and officer William Bishop said the argument centered around Mr. Flynn’s use of prescription medication. Ms. Donnelly allegedly drove to the Edgartown police station with Mr. Flynn’s prescription medications.
“She said he can no longer function normally and can’t even drive a car today, which is why he didn’t go to work this morning,” Sergeant Dolby said in his report.
In an interview with police, Mr. Flynn denied that he had a problem, though he did acknowledge the effects of the medications on his behavior.
“Flynn stated that he knew his speech was different, his attitude had changed, his mobility had changed, and that he was a different person,” Officer Bishop wrote in a separate report.
In the report, the police noted that Mr. Flynn exhibited slurred speech, a lack of balance, and less than favorable motor skills.
After escorting him to his home to collect his belongings, the police would not let him drive his truck.
The Hon. Tracie Lee Lyons issued dual restraining orders for Mr. Flynn and Ms. Donnelly, at their request.
Pertaining to the order, Mr. Flynn was required to surrender his firearms license, any firearms and any ammunition, according to the police report. In the course of responding to the incident and the issuance of the restraining orders, Edgartown police contacted West Tisbury police chief Daniel R. Rossi Friday. Chief Rossi raised concerns that Mr. Flynn might have access to firearms at his place of work, the police report shows, and a search ensued at the airport. None were found.
Ms. Todd told the Gazette Thursday that she and other members of the commission had requested that Mr. Perry schedule a meeting earlier than next week. “I was hoping that we would have met by the end of this week,” she said. “I have pushed and other members of the commission have pushed . . . I’m encouraged though that we are going to meet and I’m sorry that it took awhile to get to that.”