East Hampton Police Chief Matthew Reimondo has his job back. On Tuesday night residents of the town voted overwhelmingly to repeal an ordinance that eliminated his position.
"It's very encouraging to see what people can do and when people put their minds to it, they can move mountains," said Reimondo. "It feels good, the support from the community." In September, the town board eliminated the chief's position but last month town residents held a petition drive to get a repeal referendum on the ballot. It worked.
"This was about the people of the town who were fed up with this and were disgusted and wanted an end to it in the right way," said Bill Marshall, who organized the petition drive.
This all started five months ago when then town manager Jeffrey O'Keefe removed Reimondo for what he called budgetary reasons. Reimondo has said it was because he was looking into sexual harassment complaints against O'Keefe. O'Keefe has since stepped down. Reimondo says he doesn't hold a grudge.
"That's actually something, water under the bridge," said Reimondo. "I think we need to forge forward, the community needs to heal and we need to carry ourselves above that."
Reimondo returned to his office for the first time. He says it has been a grueling few months for his family but he says it's a good feeling to know that the community is behind him.
"It was heartwarming," said Reimondo. "The support that we received, my family and myself from the cards, emails, telephone calls from people."
Reimondo was on paid leave while away from his job.
He goes back to work on Monday.