And, former St. Albans cop will never work as a cop in Vermont again
By Mike Donoghue, Vermont News First
A disciplinary hearing to consider possible revocation of the law enforcement certification of Franklin County Sheriff John Grismore has been delayed two months, but meanwhile a former St. Albans City officer, in an unrelated misconduct case, will never return to police work in Vermont.
The embattled Grismore remains under fire on at least three fronts for an Aug. 7, 2022 incident in which he was caught on video using his foot to kick or — depending on your perspective — shove the lower abdomen of an intoxicated, shackled prisoner at the sheriff’s office. Grismore maintains he used his foot to push the prisoner back onto a bench and to try to avoid being spit on.
At Vermont Superior Court, Grismore has pleaded not guilty to a criminal charge of simple assault on the prisoner. Grand Isle County State’s Attorney Doug DiSabito, who is prosecuting the case, has filed an objection to a defense motion to dismiss the misdemeanor case. Judge Sam Hoar has it under review and is planning a hearing.
At the Statehouse, a 7-member House committee has held about a dozen secret sessions to try to decide if articles of impeachment should be filed against Grismore and — in an unrelated case — Franklin County State’s Attorney John Lavoie. It is unclear when the committee members will complete their work and what, if anything, will be made public.
At the Vermont Police Academy in Pittsford, Grismore was due for a hearing on having his certification as a part-time officer revoked on Aug. 15. Grismore has asked for more time to seek a use-of-force expert witness to bolster his case, according to Chris Brickell, the deputy executive director of the Vermont Police Academy. He said Grismore reported he also was due to take his daughter out-of-state to college on Aug. 15. A hearing after mid-October is likely.
Grismore, 50, of Fairfax has pleaded not guilty to the criminal charge and has repeatedly said he plans to fight each of the battles he is facing in the case.
The incident happened while Grismore was a captain and chief deputy in the department, but he was fired by then-Sheriff Roger Langevin. Three months later Franklin County voters elected Grismore, who won both the Democrat and Republican primaries in August, over two write-in candidates.
Sheriff Grismore did not respond to a phone message seeking comment for this news story.
Meanwhile in an unrelated case, the Vermont Criminal Justice Council also announced it reached an agreement last week with former St. Albans City Sgt. Michael Malinowski to de-certify him permanently as a police officer. Malinowski was facing administrative charges that he had lied during an internal investigation, had lied about sleeping on duty and had lied about having an extramarital affair while on duty, city and state records show.
Malinowski also faced administrative charges in a second case centering on a possible illegal search, records show. St. Albans City Police said it received a complaint Aug. 25, 2020 from Jamie Abair concerning Malinowski and two other officers when they were dealing with him and his estranged wife. Malinowski and one of the officers eventually admitted Abair never provided consent to have his car keys removed from his pocket by police, records show.
Malinowski of Fairfax opted not to contest the administrative charges and signed an 8-page stipulation agreeing to the revocation that he cannot serve as a police officer in Vermont ever again, records show. Malinowski, who was a K-9 handler for Ringo, resigned from St. Albans Police Jan. 11, 2021 and took the dog, records show
Attempts to reach his attorney Richard Cassidy of South Burlington were unsuccessful.
Malinowski had an earlier administrative case that “involved dishonesty during an internal investigation” at St. Albans Police also in 2020, records indicate. Police Academy Executive Director Heather Simons wrote in the notice of hearing with the specification of the latest charges, that “Because it was first offense, no sanction could be imposed.”