HAVERHILL — Former police officer Victor “Manny” Pellot, who was fired last summer for harassing his estranged wife and her boyfriend and misusing police resources to search the boyfriend’s background, is scheduled to go on trial next month on stalking charges.
Pellot, 51, is also preparing to fight to get his police job back. He appealed the city’s decision to fire him and a local arbitration hearing has been scheduled for May 8, City Solicitor William Cox said.
A criminal trial in Newburyport District Court is set for Feb. 24, a spokesman for District Attorney’s Jonathan Blodgett’s Office said.
Pellot was most recently in court on the stalking charges Monday, where a few remaining issues involving evidence to be presented where resolved, district attorney’s office spokesman Carrie Kimball Monahan said.
Pellot previously served a year-long suspension from his police job and was demoted from sergeant to patrolman in 2004 after he was found to have been present while on duty in 2002 and 2003 during illegal cocaine sales at his cousin’s house in Haverhill. He had been a member of the Haverhill department since 1983.
Police Chief Alan DeNaro’s recommendation to fire Pellot was the result of an internal Haverhill police investigation triggered by Pellot’s Feb. 27, 2013, arrest by state police on criminal stalking and threatening charges.
The charges stem from an incident in which Pellot allegedly chased his wife, Doreena, and her boyfriend, Thomas Ratte of Merrimack, N.H., through Haverhill in his personal vehicle, confronting them at one point, and then continuing the chase on Interstate 495.
A report by Cox, who served as hearing officer in the case, documents four instances in which Pellot confronted his wife and Ratte, including one in which he threatened to kill Doreena Pellot.
“Officer Pellot willfully and maliciously engaged in a knowing pattern of conduct and an additional series of phone calls, voice mails and texts over a seven-month period that were directed at Thomas Ratte and Doreena Pellot,” according to a separate report by state trooper Lt. Paul Zipper.
The state police report said the Pellots separated in September 2011 after 24 years of marriage and that Dorrena Pellot and Ratte began dating on July 7, 2012.
Pellot is cited in Cox’s report with multiple violations of police rules, regulations and ethics, as well as misusing the police criminal history database, conduct unbecoming an officer, neglect of duty and unsatisfactory job performance.
“There is no room for the conduct exhibited by Officer Pellot,” Cox wrote. “He is a sworn officer of the law charged with the responsibility to serve and protect the public. In one incident, Mr. Ratte and Doreena Pellot sought the safety and protection of the Haverhill Police Department, only to be followed there by Pellot, who continued his abuse of them and had to be physically removed into the station by another officer.”
The report said Pellot served two, five-day suspensions related to the allegations against him, prior to his termination. It also said Pellot declined to answer any questions at a Civil Service hearing by exercising his Fifth Amendment rights.