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House advances pension reform legislation – WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

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House advances pension reform legislation Posted: Feb 15, 2013 7:35 AM CSTUpdated: Feb 15, 2013 7:35 AM CST By WCAX News – bio | email MONTPELIER, Vt. – Former State Trooper Jim Deeghan plead guilty to illegally padding his timesheet, but he gets to keep … Continue reading

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Vt. gov., unions, back pension reform after police case | Vermont – WPTZ Home

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MONTPELIER, Vt.—Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin says he’s going to push hard for pension reform legislation in the aftermath of the case in which a former state police trooper was charged with padding his time sheets. Shumlin made the announcement Wednesday … Continue reading

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Vt. gov urges pension reform after police case – Businessweek

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Top Vermont elected officials called Wednesday for legislation that would allow the state’s public retirement funds to recoup money from employees convicted of fraud or embezzlement against a public agency. The move follows charges filed in … Continue reading

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VPR News: Shumlin Urges Pension Reform After Police Case

Bob Kinzel Governor Peter Shumlin says he’ll urge lawmakers to pass a bill that cracks down on cases of fraud involving state workers, municipal employees and teachers. The proposed law stems from a case of a Vermont State Police trooper … Continue reading

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Vt. gov. urges pension reform after police case

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin says he’s going to push for pension reform legislation in the aftermath of the case in which a former state police trooper was charged with padding his time sheets. Shumlin made the … Continue reading

Vernon sergeant grieves chief appointment – Brattleboro Reformer

VERNON — A nine-year veteran of Vernon’s police force says he was unfairly passed over when Selectboard members appointed an interim chief last week.

Sgt. Bruce Gauld has filed a grievance contending his status as a union member should not have been used against him when the board was hiring a temporary administrator for the department.

“This is a clear violation of the contract and labor law,” Gauld said.

It is the latest fallout from the Selectboard’s Tuesday appointment of Windham County Sheriff Keith Clark to fill in for Chief Mary Beth Hebert, who is on medical leave.

The board called an emergency meeting to make that appointment after learning their initial pick for interim chief, retired officer and former Brattleboro Chief Richard Guthrie, no longer had proper state certification.

Clark has said the Vernon job doesn’t require a full-time commitment and will not affect his duties as sheriff.

But the move is causing headaches for Vernon’s Selectboard: Late last week, resident Howard Fairman filed a complaint with the state attorney general contending that the board violated Vermont’s open-meeting law.

Tuesday’s meeting was not publicly warned and does not qualify as an emergency session, Fairman claims.

Now, Gauld is objecting through the International Brotherhood of Police Officers.

Selectboard Chairwoman Patty O’Donnell has said the board

could not appoint Gauld to be a department head in part because he also is a union leader.

“You can’t wear two hats,” O’Donnell said last week.

Gauld said that’s not accurate, adding that there is precedent in Vernon for a union member to take over the police department.

“All I’d have to do is step down from my union activity,” he said.

He is seeking a reconsideration by the Selectboard and, failing that, a hearing before an arbitrator who would decide the matter.

O’Donnell on Monday said she will be consulting with the town’s legal advisers.

“Anybody can file anything they want,” she said. “It doesn’t mean the Selectboard has done anything wrong.”

She also continued to defend the board’s chief appointment and the manner in which it occurred.

O’Donnell has argued that Fairman’s open-meeting complaint is groundless, saying board members “made sure we were carrying out the letter of the law” in calling the emergency session.

And on Monday, O’Donnell said a short-staffed department and mounting police overtime costs were among the reasons the Selectboard needed to find an interim chief quickly.

“The Selectboard has the legal right to make these choices,” she said.

Hebert, though, has criticized the board’s decision, saying there was no need for an interim chief with Gauld filling in while she’s away.

Gauld said he’s been in contact with Hebert daily.

“Things have gone fine,” he said. “We haven’t had any problems at all.”

Gauld, who spent more than two decades in the Ashland, Mass., police department before coming to Vernon, said he was “totally shocked” by the Selectboard’s decision to bring in outside administrative help.

He made clear that he has no personal problem with Clark.

“Our beef really isn’t with him,” Gauld said. “It’s with the way this was handled.”

via Vernon sergeant grieves chief appointment – Brattleboro Reformer.

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Vermont man, angry about pot arrest, crushes cop cars with tractor

Sheriff officers walk past crushed cruisers at the Orleans County Sheriff’s Department in Newport, Vt., Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012. Authorities say 34-year old Vermont farmer Roger Pion, angry over a recent arrest last month on charges of resisting arrest and marijuana possession, used a large tractor like a monster truck, destroying seven police cruisers. (AP Photo/Northland Journal, Scott Wheeler)

MONTPELIER, Vt. — Working in a stout former bank building with windows closed and air conditioners humming, Orleans County sheriff’s deputies didn’t know what was happening in their parking lot until a neighbor called 911.

A man on a big farm tractor, angry about his recent arrest for resisting arrest and marijuana possession, was rolling across their vehicles — five marked cruisers, one unmarked car and a transport van.

By the time they ran outside, the tractor was down the driveway and out onto the road.

With their vehicles crushed, “We had nothing to pursue him with,” said Chief Deputy Philip Brooks.

Thursday afternoon’s incident ended when city police in Newport, the county seat of the northern Vermont county,

Sheriff officers examine crushed cruisers at the Orleans County Sheriff’s Department in Newport, Vt., Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012. Authorities say 34-year old Vermont farmer Roger Pion, angry over a recent arrest last month on charges of resisting arrest and marijuana possession, used a large tractor like a monster truck, destroying seven police cruisers. (AP Photo/Northland Journal, Scott Wheeler)

caught up with Roger Pion, 34, a short distance away.

No one was injured. At least two deputies had gone inside a few moments before after washing their vehicles, officials said.

“Nobody was hurt. That’s the thing everybody’s got to cherish,” said Sheriff Kirk Martin.

Vermont State Police said in a statement that Pion would face seven counts of felony unlawful mischief, one count of misdemeanor unlawful mischief, one count aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, one count of gross negligent operation, and one count of leaving the scene of an accident.

Pion was being held at the Northern State Correctional Center in Newport on $15,000 bail.

Sheriffs said they did not know if Pion had a lawyer. A phone number for him

could not be located.

Martin estimated damage to the vehicles at more than $300,000; state police put it at more than $250,000.

Not only were their roofs and hoods caved in, but “the radios are ruined, the radar detectors, the cages in the cars … We’re going to have to get the jaws of life up here to pry the trunks open and see about the rifles and shotguns,” Martin said.

Brooks said the destroyed vehicles constituted more than half the fleet of sheriff’s cruisers in the rural county on the Canadian border. Others were out on patrol at the time of the incident.