Burlington Progressive mayoral candidate Mulvaney-Stanak attacks police chief in interview

Won’t say whether she would have voted for defunding of police

Mayoral candidate Emma Mulvaney-Stanak (P)
Burlington Police Chief Jon Murad

By Michael Bielawski

Burlington mayoral candidate Rep. Emma Mulvaney-Stanak (P-Burlington) who is now running for mayor of Burlington last week told the audience of the WVMT Morning Drive radio show she would not commit, if elected, to keeping current police chief Jon Murad on board.

Chief Murad has only recently been formally confirmed as chief by the City Council, but had been acting chief for more than three years. Morning Drive co-host former state legislator and city councilor Kurt Wright noted that the community considers Murad’s retention a high priority.

“I’ve talked to many of the police officers in Burlington and I know many felt very relieved that he was finally the permanent chief, they felt like there was finally some needed stability in the department but now we’re all wondering if there’s a new mayor, what will the new mayor do?” Wright said.

Mulvaney-Stanak responded, “I get this question a lot, no surprise right,  with what the city is facing. As I’ve said before I’m expecting every city department leader to be one that wants to rebuild trust with our residents, we want people to know that the city is going to respond and I’m going to have a high expectation of how department heads behave.”

She mentioned the state has investigated Chief Murad for his behavior concerning an incident with a surgeon at a hospital. The chief was not formally charged with any misconduct but the incident prompted an apology to the surgeon by Murad.

The chief allegedly threatened to arrest a surgeon during a shouting match that occurred when Murad would not leave the room while he was trying to obtain information to catch a suspected shooter. Further details on the context of the argument are not available to the public.

Mulvaney-Stanak stated, “We should be having high expectations for our leaders to set the tone for all police officers who are serving under them,” she said. “I want folks who are collaborative and not going to add to the divisiveness that has sent our city in a completely wrong direction.”

Two callers specifically cited the issue of whether she will ensure that Chief Murad will continue as chief.

“I would just like to say that any candidate that will not commit to the police chief and extending his office does not have my vote and nor a lot of other people’s votes,” one caller said.

She responded, “I’m going to have conversations with all department heads if I’m elected and it’s a two-way street.”

Wright then asked, “If the public continues to want to know [if she’ll keep Murad as chief], I think it’s an issue that people are really concerned about, would that cause you in any way to feel like ‘Hey I need to figure this out before the election is over and make my position real clear?”

She said, “So I’m two weeks into this race, I’m talking to as many people as possible and I am open to hearing what people have to say.”

She added that she’s been in conversation with people working in public safety.

“And I really want to emphasize that it’s not one person who is the secret answer to how we are going to solve everything in community safety, it’s much more complex than that,” she said.

Wright noted, “The men and women of the department have been I think more supportive of this chief than any chief I’ve known before, whether it was [Brandon del Pozo] or whether it was Mike Schirling, there seems to be more support in the ranks than there has been for other chiefs.”

Mulvaney-Stanak said she will continue to listen to advice on this issue.

Won’t say if she would have defunded police

Later in the show, Wright asked Mulvaney-Stanak if she would have joined with her Progressive colleagues on the City Council to reduce the city’s police force by about 30 percent as they did in June of 2022. Ultimately the vote was to reduce the force via attrition, but it occurred faster than most anticipated.

“They were warned that it would come much faster than they were even guessing and it did,” Wright said. “Do you think that was a wise decision? Every Progressive voted for that and I think so many residents have now seen the results of that. They’ve seen increased crime, they’ve seen a palpable difference in the City of Burlington than we’ve ever seen before.”

She answered, “I totally agree we have to learn from past decisions, we have to be responsive to how things evolve and when we learn more and when we look at how other things have unfolded on a statewide level in terms of our contributing to our community safety needs.”

She would not offer a direct answer to whether she would have voted for the defunding of police.

The whole interview can be listened to here.

The author is a reporter for the Vermont Daily Chronicle

Categories: Burlington

11 replies »

    • I will NOT vote for, nor will I trust any candidate who refuses to give a direct answer to a direct question. Would you have voted to gut the Police is an easy question to answer, and I think that she won’t answer it because she’s afraid of the consequences to her campaign her answer will provoke. Nor am I very likely to vote for a Progressive who won’t commit to keeping Murad on the job. He kept the Burlington P. D. up and running even as the City Council was gutting it and destroying morale, and he did it through a pandemic. In my book, that makes him an extraordinary leader.

  1. I’m pretty sure that Burlington Police Chief Jon Murad, an effective and well liked officer, who has years of exemplary law enforcement experience, would not be a supporter of Burlington Mayoral Candidate, Rep. Emma Mulvaney-Stanak (P-Burlington), an abrasive, loud-mouth candidate who has absolutely no experience as a mayor…

  2. It is safe to assume she is a defunder. They have no credible position on Crime/Safety/Quality of Life issues.

  3. Just look at the current condition of the Queen City, rampant crime ” shootings “, drugs homeless camps “vagrants” on every available green piece, leaving trash where they stay, they have no respect for the city, just its handout and the police already have there hands tied due to progressive leadership.

    Now we have a candidate for Mayor who refuses to state if she’ll support the current
    police chief, so that also states she does not support the Burlington Police Department and it’s not just the chief but its officers, like Rep, Mulvaney-Stanak has a clue about policing, the only thing you need to understand about progressives, is that they ” don’t ” support any of our men & women in blue, and she wants to be the leader of the city……….what a joke !!

    Burlington’s citizens better wake up and make sure this candidate, never makes it to the top job at city hall, we deserve better, someone who stands behind our men and women in blue to clean up the current progressive cancer that is destroying the City.

  4. No surprise there, typical response from progressive idiots. Just remember btv voters the mess the city is in is from you voting in the progressive last time. Tell me are you going to be stupid enough again to vote her in?

  5. “A people who elect corrupt politicians, impostors, thieves and traitors are not victims but accomplices”. – George Orwell

  6. Biography: “Emma Mulvaney-Stanak is an organizer, activist and mom. She founded a social change strategy consulting business, EMStrategies, in 2018. Her clients include labor unions, non-profits, and municipalities and school districts looking to develop meaningful community engagement strategies. Her past professional experience includes leading organizing and leadership development work at Vermont-NEA, directing the Vermont Livable Wage Campaign at the Peace & Justice Center, and serving as a City Councilor from the Old North End (2009-2012).
    She served as the state chair of the Vermont Progressive Party (2013 to 2017) and on various non-profit boards including the Vermont Women’s Fund, the Haymarket People’s Fund, Governor’s Institutes of Vermont and the Robin’s Nest Child Care Center located in the Old North End. She is a graduate of the Snelling Center’s Vermont Leadership Institute and Smith College with a degree in political science.”

    Upon reviewing her resume, I do not find any background in law or law enforcement. I do not see any background in economics or business accounting practices. I do not see she has owned a business or worked within the private sector. I do see a long history of grifting – which is being involved in numerous non-profiteer, NGO, government laundry services. Her parental units taught her everything she knows about “public service” and lip-service to brainwash people into believing the unbelievable. Playbook known.

  7. I love the George Orwell quote. Do you think he was referring to all those Trumpsters out there?