Panell case continued again, to Feb. 23
Tiverton Lieutenant continues paid suspension
TIVERTON —Once again, a pre-trial conference in the criminal case against Tiverton Police Lieutenant Timothy Panell has been delayed and rescheduled — now for the fourth time — to Thursday, Feb. 23.
The case had originally been filed Sept. 15 in 2nd District Court for a pre-trial conference on Nov. 3; for the second time on Thursday, Dec. 15, then set for last Thursday, Jan. 19, when it was continued again to the fourth date of Thursday, February 23, at 9 a.m.
The reason for the repeated continuances has been to allow Lt. Panell more time for discovery.
"They've got boxes of documents to go through," said town prosecutor John Bernardo in December, when the matter was continued then.
The investigation of Lt. Panell's actions that led up to the charges against him included personal surveillance by both the Tiverton and Bristol chiefs of police, interviews with a number of police officers in the chain of command above and below the lieutenant, GPS tracking data and video surveillance records relating to his actions, and written directives, policies, and reports allegedly involved in his case.
Meanwhile, Lt. Panell is suspended with pay pending the outcome of the criminal case, said Town Solicitor Anthony DeSisto. The case against Lt. Panell was first filed Sept 15.
The accusations against Lt. Panell involve a total of 58 misdemeanor counts.
Forty-nine of the charges against the lieutenant are for being at home when he was supposed to be on duty at work (obtaining money from Tiverton under false pretenses), and nine of the charges are for fraud and false dealing (filing false paperwork in order to get paid for it).