Child porn charges surprise staff at Catholic school where chief led safety talks

Mount Pleasant Police Chief Brian Fanelli is facing child pornography charges. (1/24/14)

SHRUB OAK - Administrators at a Catholic school where the Mount Pleasant police chief often led personal safety talks are in shock today after learning of child porn charges against the high-ranking official.

Mount Pleasant Police Chief Brian Fanelli, 54, was arrested by the Department of Homeland Security in connection with accusations of downloading and sharing more than 120 images of child pornography.

That news surprised administrators at the Church of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. Fanelli served as a catechist at the church. In a letter to parents, administrators wrote about Fanelli's arrest. The letter also informed parents how Fanelli passed two required background checks and the required training.

St. Elizabeth officials told parents Fanelli will no longer serve as a catechist for its religious education program.

Fanelli has been suspended from the police department. He was released on bail and must wear a monitoring bracelet while he remains in his Mahopac home.

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