A former Tisbury police officer was arraigned Friday morning in Edgartown District Court on charges including assault and battery on a police officer.
Kelly R. Kershaw, 30, was arraigned on charges of interfering with a firefighter, assault and battery on a police officer, disorderly conduct and threat to commit a crime. Charges were filed against Ms. Kershaw after she allegedly interfered with firefighters who were called to fight a May dryer fire at her home.
The Tisbury selectmen voted June 10 to fire Ms. Kershaw, who had been a Tisbury police officer for nine years.
During a short court proceeding, Ms. Kershaw held her purse against her face as a shield against cameras. The reading of the charges was waived and not guilty pleas entered on Ms. Kershaw’s behalf.
Ms. Kershaw was represented by attorney Theodore A. (Teddy) Saulnier, a former Tisbury police chief. Mr. Saulnier told the court he is filing a motion for a change of venue.
“She’s looking forward to her day in court,” Mr. Saulnier told the Gazette after the arraignment.
Mr. Saulnier was Tisbury police chief from 2002 to 2005.
Ms. Kershaw, who had been a Tisbury police officer since 2004, had a long history of conflict with the department.
In 2009, she filed a complaint with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD), alleging that she was sexually harassed by a fellow officer and that retaliatory action was taken by the police chief and town administrator when she complained about the harassment.
In September 2011 an MCAD investigation found probable cause for some of the complaints in a split decision, and Ms. Kershaw later withdrew her complaint and filed a civil lawsuit in 2011 in Dukes County superior court against the town of Tisbury and several individuals claiming employment discrimination. That case is pending.
A pretrial hearing was scheduled for August 16.