HAVERHILL — Police Chief Alan DeNaro has recommended that police officer Victor “Manny” Pellot be fired.
The recommendation is the result of a recently completed internal Haverhill police investigation of the suspended officer, said City Solicitor William Cox. Pellot faces criminal charges for allegedly stalking and threatening his estranged wife and her boyfriend.
Pellot was arrested by state police Feb. 27 after he 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. Pellot has pleaded not guilty to two counts of stalking. He is due back in Newburyport District Court June 28.
Cox said a closed-door discipline hearing is scheduled for Pellot, 50, on Monday. The hearing, which is required under Civil Service laws, is to give Pellot a chance to rebut the findings of the local police probe. It is scheduled for 10 a.m. at City Hall.
Cox said he will act as hearing officer and make a recommendation to Mayor James Fiorentini after reviewing the report’s findings and hearing from police and Pellot or his lawyer.
The Eagle-Tribune requested a copy of the internal police report under the Freedom of Information law, but Cox said he will wait until after Monday’s hearing before deciding when to release it. Cox said Pellot’s union lawyer, Stephen Pfaff of Boston, has raised legal objections to releasing the report while Pellot is facing criminal charges.
DeNaro also sought to fire Pellot in 2004 after the officer was found to have been present in uniform in 2002 and 2003 during illegal drug sales at his cousin’s house in Haverhill. Instead, Fiorentini demoted then-Sgt. Pellot and suspended him for a year. Pellot returned to work as a patrolman in September 2005.
Following Pellot’s Feb. 28 arraignment on the stalking charges, he was suspended without pay from his police job, pending the outcome of the case. He also was ordered to surrender his police gun and a private gun.
Terms of Pellot’s release include that he wear an electronic monitoring device, stay at least 100 yards away from his wife and Ratte, seek counseling through the Police Department’s Employee Assistance Program, and not leave Massachusetts while his case is pending.
At Pellot’s most recent appearance in Newburyport District Court, prosecutors obtained cell phone records for Pellot, his wife and Ratte to search for evidence of prior threats by Pellot against them. Prosecutors said the phone records will also be used to investigate allegations that Pellot misused Criminal Offender Record Information that police officers have access to as part of their job.
Doreena Pellot began dating Ratte in July 2012, according to a police report. She has been married to Victor Pellot for 24 years, but the couple separated in September 2011 and are in the process of divorcing, according to the report.
According to police and court reports, Doreen Pellot and Ratte told police that at one point during the Feb. 27 chase, Victor Pellot stopped his car in front of their car on Main Street, blocking them from moving. They said Victor Pellot then walked to the side of their vehicle and punched the side view mirror, while yelling at his wife, according to the police report.
The chase continued onto I-495 south, police said. After the couple called 911 to report they were victims of “road rage,” a state trooper told them to drive to the Methuen Police Department to report what happened, police said.
Prior incidents between Pellot, his wife and her boyfriend were detailed in a March court hearing. A prosecutor said Pellot followed them on several occasions and also confronted them, and that he left them angry, threatening and profanity-laced voice mail messages — including one in which Pellot said he would kill his wife — and that he also sent threatening text messages.
Doreena Pellot has said she intends to assert her marital privilege and not testify against her husband if called as a witness in the criminal case.