Shellfish constable arraigned on defacement charge

On Dec. 31 Paul Bagnall, right, pleaded not guilty on the charge of property defacement in Edgartown District Court. He appeared by Zoom with his attorney, Martin Tomassian.

Edgartown Shellfish Constable Paul Bagnall was arraigned before Judge Paul Pino Thursday in Edgartown District Court on a charge of property defacement. Through his attorney, Martin (“Skip”) Tomassian, he pleaded not guilty. 

According to an Edgartown Police report and court records, Bagnall allegedly ruined portions of a neighbor’s lawn with a town-owned pickup truck. One of these incidents was allegedly caught on camera and reviewed by Edgartown Police Det. Curtis Chandler. Chandler also interviewed Bagnall. 

Among other things, Bagnall allegedly told Det. Chandler he and his neighbor had “a long history of issues,” and Bagnall said in the past he challenged his neighbor at the zoning board of appeals over a guesthouse.  

“Bagnall admitted that he did it,” Chandler wrote, “and stated, ‘I did that because I was pissed off, not to piss him off; nothing pisses him off.’”

Following a magistrate’s hearing, Edgartown District Court Clerk Magistrate Liza Williamson found probable cause Bagnall committed a crime and authorized the charge. 

On Thursday, Bagnall was released on his personal recognizance. 

Pino warned Bagnall that if he was charged with a new crime during the pendency of his case, he could be held without bail up to the time of a trial. 

Bagnall is expected back in court for a pretrial hearing on March 5.


  1. I am offended by this coverage. This is not news. It is glorified gossip. Aside from foolishly, allegedly, using a town vehicle at the time, this has nothing to do with how well Paul performs his job and has been a responsible and respected public servant for years.

    • Ellen– I am a bit confused by your comment. I read the article a number of times, and there is nothing in it saying anything about how Mr. Bagnall has performed his job, nor how long he has had that job. Do you think that “responsible and respected public servants ” should be immune from criminal prosecution when they deliberately destroy someone else’s private property ?
      Do you think the Mv Times should not report crimes of people who you think are “responsible” ?
      By definition, taking a truck owned by the town and using it for vandalism is not responsible behavior.
      And, he apparently shows no sign of remorse, indicating to me that he is quite willing to do it again. I hope he doesn’t come to my house and destroy something of mine because he gets “pissed off” at me for this comment.

  2. Agreed with Ellen. Paul Bagnall is one of the most respected and gentle souls on this island. Please stop reporting glorified gossip. If Paul lost his patience I expect there was probably good reason. Check yourselves.

  3. It takes a lifetime to build a good reputation and only a moment for someone to destroy it. This newspaper feels justified by destroying reputations because they use the word “allegedly”. Anything for a salacious headline and storyline….allegedly anyway.

  4. Thank you Times for the coverage of this as unlike the previous responses this is public information and one we should know. The issue of whether Paul is a good person or not does not change the fact that this happened with a Town vehicle. To not report this would One could say that there is a cover-up for a liked or connected town employee. There is plenty of cover-up by well-connected people on this island that never makes the papers and should.

  5. The other island newspaper is the one that is very bias and overwhelming censors!
    I am glad some news outlets like “TMZ” aren’t afraid to cover things like “Nancy Pelosi’s House Vandalized” last night when all the other outlets coverup.
    It is their job to publish and our right to know!

  6. A time and a place for everything! I’m sure Mr. Bagnall is a wonderful person to those who consider him friend. I find that description is contradicted by his use of the neighbors yard as a town sponsored monster truck exhibition.

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