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Police investigating Fall River harbormaster

FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — Fall River’s harbormaster is being investigated by city police, a spokesperson for Mayor Sam Sutter’s office confirmed Friday.

Harbormaster Bruce Bannister has been suspended amid an investigation involving a motor vehicle accident with a young motorist, the spokesperson said.

The Harbormaster’s office supervises and enforces the rules of the city’s harbor under the jurisdiction of the Fall River Police Department.

Lt. Paul Santos with the Fall River Police Department would say very little about why Bannister is under investigation, but said Bannister was not on the job when the incident happened. He also said Bannister was suspended without pay.

This isn’t Bannister’s first trouble with the law since becoming Harbormaster; the Bristol County DA says he was arrested and charged with Larceny in 2014, but the case was dropped.

“Obviously this guy has had problems in the past, past issues…so it’s time to move on,” said Jim Cusick, a Fall River resident.

The Mayor’s office says Asst. Harbormaster Bob Smith has been named Harbormaster.

Phone calls to Bannister’s home and to the Harbormaster’s office went unreturned Friday.

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