MOUNT DESERT, Maine — The chairman of the Board of Selectmen was arrested early Sunday morning on a charge of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicants.

Jeffrey T. Smith, 59, was arrested around 2 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 2, after police found his car in the ditch off the side of Indian Point Road in the village of Pretty Marsh, Mount Desert Police Chief James Willis said Monday. Pretty Marsh is on the west side of Mount Desert Island.

Willis said Officer Jacob Day located Smith a short time later walking along Indian Point Road. Smith subsequently was arrested for operating under the influence, Willis said.

There was minimal damage to the car, a 2004 Chevrolet Impala, which appeared to be stuck in the ditch, according to Willis.

Smith was taken to the Bar Harbor Police Department, where Mount Desert police officers frequently process people whom they arrest because Bar Harbor has a booking room and holding cells, Willis said. Smith was taken from there to nearby Mount Desert Island Hospital for a blood alcohol test and treatment of minor injuries. Police do not believe the injuries were suffered when the car went off the road, Willis said.

Willis said police had not yet received the results of Smith’s blood alcohol test. The incident still is under investigation, he said.

Smith was released from the Bar Harbor police station a couple hours after his arrest on personal recognizance bail, according to Willis. Smith had to pay a $40 processing fee before he was released.

Smith is scheduled to appear in Ellsworth District Court on Jan. 6, 2009, Willis said.

A message seeking comment left Monday afternoon at Smith’s home phone number was not immediately returned.

Mount Desert Town Manager Michael MacDonald said he spoke with Smith by phone Monday afternoon, and Smith told him he would not attend the board’s regular meeting scheduled for Monday night. He said Smith told him he was unable to attend the meeting because he is on medication that requires 24-hour supervision.

The town manager said Smith apologized for any embarrassment he may have caused the town but had no further public comment.

Smith was re-elected to a three-year term on the Board of Selectmen in March 2007.

MacDonald said Smith served two consecutive terms as a selectman in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Smith then left the board and was elected again in 2004, he said.

MacDonald declined to comment further about Smith’s situation.

“It’s a private matter at this point,” the town manager said.


Bill Trotter

A news reporter in coastal Maine for more than 20 years, Bill Trotter writes about how the Atlantic Ocean and the state's iconic coastline help to shape the lives of coastal Maine residents and visitors....