The Town of Mount Pleasant and its police department are picking up the pieces a day after Police Chief Brian Fanelli was arrested for downloading child pornography.
The town and police department have issued the following statement:
At approximately 12:15 p.m. (Thursday) the Mt. Pleasant Police Department was notified by the U.S. Homeland Security Special Investigations Unit that Police Chief Brian Fanelli was taken into custody and is to be charged with Trafficking in Child Pornography…The Town is fully cooperating with the U.S. Attorney’s office in this investigation. Chief Fanelli has been suspended from his duties. We have no further information at this time.
Town Supervisor Joan Maybury told Patch that the town and police department are in the process of appointing one of its current lieutenants to “an acting police chief.” She added that Fanelli’s arrest has sent shock waves throughout the entire town.
“It is very disturbing information,” she said. “The police department has been shaken. We are all moving forward the best that we can. The public can be assured that it will continued to be served. Although we are all shocked, we will continue to support each other.”
Maybury said she has known Fanelli more than 20 years, when she first began working for the town. Fanelli has been working for the police department for more than 30 years. It was Maybury who interviewed, and ultimately hired, Fanelli as the town’s police chief just a few months ago.
“I know Brian really well,” she said. “I am as surprised and disturbed as anyone.”
Fanelli also taught at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish school in Shrub Oak, where he talked to students about the dangers of sexual abuse on a yearly basis. The school however, said it has "no comment at this time."
Note: An arrest does not indicate a conviction.
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