WEST PALM BEACH, FL — Five-year police veteran Nicole Palladino turned herself in Thursday after an investigation determined she allegedly stole money from a man she arrested last month.
According to a West Palm Beach police affidavit, Palladino was dispatched to a call of a man asleep behind the wheel near Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard I-95 on Oct. 7. Palladino eventually arrested the man, Timothy Saintil, after finding drugs and a weapon in his car.
During the stop, Palladino’s partner arrived and searched Saintil who had just over $1,000 in his pockets. The report says Palladino’s partner, gave her the money in an evidence bag. However, Palladino later claimed Saintil had just $48 on him.
A search warrant was issued for Palladino’s police unit after Saintil said he had way more than $48 on him. A day later, investigators found a bag with the rest of Saintil’s money totaling $1,003 and seven ecstasy pills, though investigators say those pills were not connected to Saintil’s arrest.
The department released a statement, which reads, “The West Palm Beach Police Department holds its employees to the highest professional standards. We never take the public’s trust for granted. Hence, when we learned of the potential breach of public trust , it was immediately investigated, determined to be criminal in nature, and criminal charges were filed against Palladino.”
We also learned that during Saintil’s arrest, investigators say, Palladino turned off her body camera while counting the money and then turned it back on.
She’s now on paid leave during the investigation and is charged with grand theft, possession of a controlled substance and official misconduct.