The new executive director of the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce was arrested this week in Bar Harbor on a charge of operating a motor vehicle under the influence of intoxicants.

Everal Eaton, 30, was arrested on a charge of OUI at around 12:40 a.m. Sunday by Bar Harbor Police near the intersection of West and Bridge streets, according to the Hancock County Jail booking log. Further information about the arrest was unavailable Friday.

Eaton, contacted Friday by phone at the Chamber’s offices, declined to comment on his arrest. He became the executive director of the organization in March.

The president of the Chamber’s board of directors, Gary “Bo” Jennings, said Friday that Eaton notified the board of his arrest immediately.

“This is a personal matter that occurred outside of his duties as executive director of the Chamber of Commerce,” Jennings said. “The Board will continue to support him in that role as he resolves any issues outside of his Chamber responsibilities.”

The incident comes at a time when the Chamber has come under fire from local residents who say the organization is fighting efforts by the town to reduce the volume of seasonal cruise ship traffic to Bar Harbor. Last November, voters approved a citizen ballot initiative to limit visits by cruise ship passengers to no more than 1,000 a day, a limit that the town now is looking to put in place.

The next month, a group of local businesses formed the Association to Preserve and Protect Local Livelihoods and filed a federal lawsuit against the town, seeking to overturn the new cruise ship limits. A civil trial on whether the November vote conflicts with federal oversight of maritime traffic is scheduled for federal court in Bangor on July 5.

The Chamber, though not a party to the lawsuit, in May decided to join the pro-cruise ship business group, according to the report in the Mount Desert Islander.  Local residents, angry over that decision, then voted on June 6 in favor of stripping the Chamber of $60,000 in annual local taxpayer support, the newspaper reported.

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....