Bill gives State another tool to ban police officers from working in Vermont

By Guy Page

A House bill introduced Tuesday, February 14 by South Burlington Representative Martin LaLonde, a lawyer, Democrat and the chairman of the House Judiciary committee, would give the Vermont Criminal Justice Council another powerful tool to find police officers guilty of law enforcement misconduct. 

H251 would add the issuance of a Brady or Giglio letter as a basis of law enforcement misconduct under the jurisdiction of the Vermont Criminal Justice Council, the state’s police disciplinary board. 

Two U.S. Supreme Court decisions – Brady V. Maryland, and Giglio V. United States – require prosecutors to reveal evidence that could exonerate a criminal defendant. It has become the practice of some prosecutors around the country, including in Vermont, to issue what are sometimes referred to as Brady/Giglio letters when they learn that a law enforcement officer has acted in a way that calls into question their credibility, according to a November, 2022 legislative 2022 report

The letters often precede formal action against the police officers by the VCJC. In recent months, the Vermont Criminal Justice Council has banned two Vermont police officers from ever working again in Vermont law enforcement – a process known as “decertification.”

The VCJS decertified Springfield Police Officer Anthony Moriglioni in November for grabbing the neck of a suspect believed to have drugs in his mouth and about to swallow them. In September it decertified Williston Police Officer Travis Trybulski for an unauthorized traffic stop of a New York car.

Also, Orange County Sheriff William Bohnyak was sanctioned last month for reportedly assigning an unqualified deputy to a special investigations unit. The council merely sanctioned him because it conceded that elected county sheriffs are not subject to state decertification. 

All three of these actions were taken without Brady/Giglio letters having the force of law in the eyes of the Criminal Justice Council. H251 would change that – potentially giving the council even more clout in banning police officers from working in Vermont. 

H251 is cosponsored by Representative Mike McCarthy of St. Albans, the chair of the House Committee on Government Operations and Military Affairs. Because it is sponsored by these two committee chairmen, it will likely receive a thorough committee review in either Judiciary, Government Ops, or both. 

Categories: Legislation

16 replies »

  1. This is another disincentive for law enforcement personnel to dedicate their careers to enforcing the laws of Vermont!

  2. Is there a way for citizens to petition the “credibility” of legislators or members of the board when there is evidence they acted a certain questionable way? Big brother will control local law enforcement – not you pesky peasants paying taxes for your law enforcement protection. The Lords of the Golden Dome decide, monitor, surveil and punish with impunity and conjured authority.

  3. And while they are at it, how about a law to disqualify from office any elected official who knowingly accepts or refuses to give back campaign contributions that are the proceeds of a criminal enterprise…like our new congress critter Balint…

  4. I don’t know anybody that doesn’t think that Peace Officers should not be held to a very high standard, but as I see it this is just piling on to make the bar so high that all except saints, and super heroes are probably lacking of the moral, and ethical standards to be hired for these positions. There has only ever been one perfect human to walk this earth, and that was not a Vermont State, or U.S. Legislator so who are they to judge.

    • Patrick-agreed. Humans, including Police Officers are far from being perfect. Not saying that cops shouldn’t be held to a higher standard, but how high? God level? Christ level? Do people really want an emotion less human performing policing. A by the book Officer without compassion?

  5. So a mere accusation by a States Attorney would become automatic guilt, leading to punishment without due process. Seems perfectly (un)constitutional to me.

  6. This is another bill for concerned citizens to give close scrutiny to. Orange County is down from 30 to about 5 sheriffs now that Sheriff William Bohnyak has been surprised at the election booth. I’d love to see the insides of the voting machines to assure that it wasn’t rigged remotely. Orange County isn’t alone – other places are in need of officers. The safety of our communities warrant protection and removal of H251.

    • We need good officers. If they are not good officers then it doesn’t matter if there was 100. Well it DOES matter, the police corruption would be WORSE

  7. feds have been assuming more and more power for years and now state and local government want to give themselves authority over more and more of everyday life. rights and things like private property mean little to government any more

  8. If you can’t defund the police, we will decertify the ones who aren’t 100% perfect. That should fix the state so we are left needing Global police. Next we need another bill so we can decertify our military (Army, Marines, Air Force, Navy, and Coast Guard). Once decertified, Vermont can have UN military.

  9. What does Martin Bowtie LaLonde or any of them know about police activity? The police walk toward and into dangerous situations and people, these legislators sit behind a desk and bark orders and make laws. They produce nothing but misery for the people who do the real work. Maybe they should park their rear ends in a police cruiser on the night shift in Burlington to get an eyeful. All these laws for what, so Martin can feel good about himself. There are men and women who do the actual work to protect people like Martin, of course not from Vermont.

  10. This is about breaking down social controls.
    An aspect of “the Long March”.

  11. Another bad idea. The problem with Brady letters is there are no set criteria which leaves the arbitrary and no opportunity for the officers to dispute them

  12. This bill is another way to raise the crime rate in Vermont. It should be put to the people of this state by vote, not by a few who are supposedly representing the people.

  13. Does anyone here support Police Officers breaking the law? If not, this bill has nothing to concern you. The Vermont Criminal Justice Council doesnt have an issue with this.

    • The Vermont Criminal Justice Council was not voted on by the People and those sitting there are appointed cronies. Why is it necessary? The People can’t run their own police forces that they pay for with their money? How many kangaroo boards does it take to run Vermont? Several dozen? They have conjured fake authority – and their policy making is unconstitutional.