Two weeks before Gouldsboro voters are expected to decide whether to disband the town’s police department, Chief Tyler Dunbar has resigned from his job, citing a lack of support for his department from other town officials.
Sherri Cox, Gouldsboro’s town manager, said Dunbar resigned Wednesday by submitting a brief letter to her. The letter simply says he is resigning effective June 26, and requests that he be paid for unused vacation time, she said.
In an email Thursday, Dunbar said the reasons for his resignation were political, not personal.
“The primary reason is a clear lack of political support for the police department from the town government,” Dunbar said in the brief email.
He added that he had intended to resign after the vote, which had been scheduled for Tuesday, June 11, but decided to go ahead and submit his letter even after the vote was postponed. A clerical error on the publicly posted town meeting warrant — a lack of selectmen signatures — resulted in the vote being delayed.
The town is now scheduled to hold local elections on Tuesday, June 25, including the vote on whether the town should disband its police department and instead contract with the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office for regular law enforcement coverage. The proposal comes as a result of a citizen petition effort to have the question placed on Gouldsboro’s annual town meeting warrant.
At a public hearing on the proposal in April, some of the discussion veered into a critique of Dunbar’s job performance.
Dunbar, 26, has been Gouldsboro’s police chief since 2016. At the time he was appointed to the position, he was believed to be the youngest police chief in the state.
Gouldsboro has a history of turnover in the police chief position.
In 2016, Paul Gamble was fired from the position after town officials faulted him for using a town credit card to pay for gas in his personal pickup truck, according to a lawsuit he subsequently filed against the town. The next year, Gamble settled the lawsuit with the town for $67,500, the weekly Ellsworth American newspaper reported.