Coventry Fire District chair resigns amid assault claims

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COVENTRY, R.I. (WPRI) — After facing charges of sexually assaulting a patient at an assisted living facility, Coventry Fire District Chairman Frank Palin has resigned.

Palin, 67, was arrested May 25 and charged with sexually assaulting a woman with dementia while working as a nurse practitioner for Old Colony Hospice. Police said the alleged assault happened at Cornerstone at Canton assisted living facility.

According to the police report obtained by Eyewitness News, Palin was caught on camera inappropriately touching the alleged victim and asking her a question of a sexual nature. The report states the woman appeared to be “in distress throughout the duration of the encounter.”

Soon after he was charged, members of Coventry’s General Assembly delegation called on him to resign as chair.

The Coventry Board of Directors has accepted his resignation.

“You really can’t have that kind of distraction at the head of a public safety agency facing those types of allegations,” President of the Coventry Firefighters Union James Almagno said. “We don’t have to work under the condition of having this distraction around anymore.”

“I kind of had a feeling this was coming to this,” Board member Bob Gallo added.

Palin was arraigned and released on $5,000 bail. He’s due back in court July 30 for a pretrial conference.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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