July 27, 2010


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Fishkill woman wins federal false arrest lawsuit

WHITE PLAINS – A Fishkill woman, who is a former Town of East Fishkill police officer, sued a state trooper for false arrest and malicious prosecution, and won, her attorney Michael Sussman said Tuesday.

Deana Perillo was returning home from work on Route 9 on the Fishkill-Wappinger town line when she was rear-ended at a traffic light on August 16, 2007.

She contended that Trooper Anthony Gentile, who knew her from their prior collaboration on police cases, responded to the scene and directed rookie Trooper Todd Miller to perform sobriety tests on her. After three such tests, Gentile directed Miller to arrest her.

At trial, Perillo contended her driving was not impaired and she noted she had been acquitted of the same charge in Dutchess County Court.

After two hours of deliberation and a three day trial, Gentile was found guilty, but Miller was cleared of the same charges.
Sussman said the verdict against Gentile should send a message to all cops.

“There are many, many incidents in the Hudson Valley of people being stopped, there’s no reason for the stop, inquiries are made, which under case law, constitutional principle, are inappropriate,” he said. “People feel subjected to this. Police agencies continue to do it and I thought it was important that Ms. Perillo was willing to stand for herself and literally go all the way to federal court after winning her criminal case to prove the point that this is inappropriate, unconstitutional an shouldn’t happen.”

Following the verdict last Friday, the Attorney General’s Office and Perillo settled her claim for $60,000.

While she was an East Fishkill office, Perillo had sued the police chief at the time claiming he gave her salacious notes repeatedly. She won a settlement, the terms of which were not divulged.


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