The Pelham Weekly has learned that Marc Lenci and Gregory Paci, the two former Pelham Manor police officers who publicly accused Police Chief Al Mosiello of sending racist e-mails, faced departmental charges if they did not retire last March.
According to sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the departmental charges involved Mr. Lenci and Mr. Paci’s handling of the arrest of an African American male who later sued them and the Village for civil rights violations.
The suit was filed in May of 2014–two months after Mr. Lenci and Mr. Paci resigned. A copy of the civil suit obtained by The Pelham Weekly, alleges that then Officers Lenci and Paci falsified charges of assault of a police officer, resisting arrest, obstruction of governmental administration and disorderly conduct against plaintiff Jamainne C. Hall. According to the complaint, Mr. Hall was leading a team of New York Youth Club (NYYC) members who were fundraising in the Village.
NYYC is described in the complaint as a registered Not-for-Profit with a purpose of providing “educational and social opportunities for at-risk youth in socially and economically disadvantaged areas.”
Members of NYYC, who are described as “typically individuals of color,” were fundraising in Pelham Manor on Feb. 3, 2013 in the vicinity of Washington Avenue. According to the complaint, the youths called Mr. Hall after “Police Officers Lenci and Paci stopped and harassed members of the NYYC.”
Attorneys representing Mr. Hall confirmed to The Pelham Weekly that the case was settled in October, but declined to release terms of the settlement.
The complaint states, “Police Officers Paci and Lenci arrested and handcuffed (Mr. Hall) without cause, and falsely charged him with assault of a police officer as a felony, as well as resisting arrest, obstruction of governmental administration and disorderly conduct.”
It continues, “Upon information and belief, the reason for the arrest was that the Plaintiff, and all of the NYYC members with him, are persons of color.”
Additionally, it states that Mr. Hall’s van, used to transport the youth members back to their homes in the Bronx, was impounded.
The charges against Mr. Hall were eventually dismissed.
Mr. Lenci told The Pelham Weekly that he was provided the racist e-mails allegedly forwarded by Chief Mosiello and in turn handed them over to Mayor Randy Sellier and the Board of Trustees. Mr. Paci recently told various media outlets that Chief Mosiello was a racist and should lose his job.
Mr. Lenci was a police officer in Pelham Manor for 20 years and seven months. Mr. Paci had been a police officer in Pelham Manor for 15 years and an officer in Mt. Vernon for 11 years prior to that.
Mr. Paci has also claimed that in recent years several veteran Pelham Manor police officers have been forced to retire. Some had been officers in the union, as were Mr. Lenci and Mr. Paci.
Video of Incident That Led to Lenci, Paci Retirement
A video of the encounter between then Pelham Manor Police Officers Marc Lenci and Greg Paci and an African American man that led to the officers retiring rather than face departmental charges is available attached to this article.
The video and transcript of the encounter, both obtained by The Pelham Weekly, apparently show the officers verbally abusing Jamainne Hall and then faking being hit by Mr. Hall. Officers Paci and Lenci filed a Felony charge of Assaulting a Police Officer against Hall.
Mayor Randy Sellier said in a statement at Monday night’s Pelham Manor Board of Trustees meeting that the video contradicted sworn statements about the encounter made by now ex-officers Lenci and Paci. Mayor Sellier said that upon seeing the video, Chief Al Mosiello told the officers that they might be brought up on departmental charges, and the two officers elected to retire instead.
Mr. Hall filed a s civil lawsuit against the Village, which Mayor Sellier said was settled. He also noted that the terms of the settlement were confidential.