The Edgartown courthouse has lost its only female, and only Portuguese-speaking trial court officer.

Carla Damian-Gomes, who has worked at the courthouse for nearly a decade as a court and public safety official, quit her position two weeks ago in order to care for her young son who was set to undergo open heart surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital.

But within the span of a week, the loss for the courthouse had turned into a gain for the Tisbury police department. Tisbury police chief Mark Saloio said on Tuesday that Ms. Damian-Gomes had been hired as a special officer, citing her language skills as an asset for the department.

Edgartown attorney Martin V. (Skip) Tomassian Jr. said the situation arose because the Massachusetts Trial Court, which is located in Boston and is responsible for court officer staffing in Dukes County, would not grant Ms. Damian-Gomes sick leave because she is a per-diem employee.

“I was incensed,” Mr. Tomassian told The Gazette. “I know there are rules, but this is a good employee.”

In a letter to the Massachusetts Bar Association, Mr. Tomassian reprimanded the trial court for the decision to not grant Ms. Damian-Gomes sick leave.

“The trial court people whose responsibility it is to make such decisions, despite heavy lobbying, refused to give the time because she is a per-diem employee. That was their excuse,” Mr. Tomassian wrote in part. He continued:

“Dukes and Nantucket counties, the bastard stepchildren of the trial court, are the only counties in the state who out of necessity have per diem employees . . . . So tomorrow will be a sad day, Carla leaves to attend to her son and has found two other jobs. Hard working moms do that.”

Jennifer Donahue, who works in the human resources department for the trial court, said in an email to the Gazette that while Dukes and Nantucket counties have a higher proportion of per-diem court officers, they are not the only counties in the state who employ court officers on a per-diem basis.

“There are over a thousand full-time associate court officers and court officers in the trial court security department, in addition to approximately fifty per-diem court officers available across the state,” she wrote. “In Edgartown, there are currently two full-time court officers and four per-diem court officers. There is an active job posting for a court officer position for Dukes and Nantucket counties. There have also been previous openings for full-time positions, which are available to per-diem court officers and others to apply, but it has been difficult to recruit full-time court officers in Dukes and Nantucket counties. Historically, the court has relied on the use of per-diem court officers.”

She continued:

“While paid sick leave and FMLA are only available to full-time employees, being a per-diem employee allows those employees flexibility to take time off as needed.”

Although not officially a court interpreter, longtime courthouse employees said Ms. Damian-Gomes often helped members of the Island’s large Brazilian Portuguese community communicate with English-speaking members of the court, serving as an unofficial translator.

“Right now, if somebody came through the front door of the courthouse and couldn’t speak English and Brazilian Portuguese was their main language, they’d be out of luck,” Mr. Tomassian said.

Liza Williamson, district court clerk magistrate, echoed the sentiment.

“Ms. Gomes was an integral part our team,” Ms. Williamson said in an email. “In addition to her professionalism, her willingness and ability to foster communication with our Portuguese-speaking community helped further our mission, which is access to justice for our community as a whole.”

Mr. Tomassian said the Massachusetts Bar Association has raised money to pay for Ms. Damian-Gomes’s hotel room in Boston while her son undergoes surgery, and that other lawyers have independently donated to help as well.

He said he received a text from Ms. Damian-Gomes on Monday saying her son’s surgery went well. Then on Tuesday, Ms Damian-Gomes was named a special officer in the Tisbury police department.

“Ms. Gomes has been a trial court officer for the last 10 years,” Chief Saloio said at the selectmen’s meeting. “And she also is coming to us with some qualities that I feel are going to be very advantageous. Fluent in Portuguese, French and Italian.”

Mr. Tomassian said the courthouse community would continue to feel the effects of Ms. Damian-Gomes’s absence.

“They hurt the courthouse community, and they hurt the community as a whole,” he said, referring to state trial court administrators.