By Guy Page
Chittenden County State’s Attorney Sarah George will face a challenger in the Democratic primary this year: lawyer Ted Kenney of Williston.
Kenney was a preferred selection of the Chittenden County Democratic Committee when Gov. Phil Scott selected George to fill the state’s attorney post left by T.J. Donovan becoming attorney general. Kenney was the second choice of the committee, George the third.
According to a report in today’s VermontBiz.com, Kenney believes Chittenden County can have criminal justice reform and safe streets. “The criminal justice system needs reform to remove disparities based on race and poverty, but we don’t have to choose between safe streets and reform, or between compassion and fairness…..We can have all of those things, but we can’t have any one of them without the others.”
Chittenden County State’s Attorney Sarah George today announced her re-election bid for 2022. Sarah has served as the State’s Attorney for Chittenden County since January 2017 after Governor Phil Scott appointed her to the position. In 2018 she won the election with 99.1% of the vote. To date no challengers have surfaced.
She has faced stringent criticism for her policy of not jailing some violent crime suspects, in favor of releasing them pending trial.
Kenney criticized George for not seeking conditions of release for violent crime suspects, and referring all youthful offenders to juvenile court, according to the VBM news report.
According to his Facebook page, Kenney, 57, is a Richmond native who studied law at American University, married in 1999, and is a founding partner of Kenney & Hentchen, a general law practice located in Colchester. He and his wife have two daughters.
Kenney has also served on the town schoolboard and planning commission. He was first elected to the schoolboard in 2006. During his 2019 run for selectboard, he pointed to his success at procuring “funding for mental health professionals to respond with our police officers to handle mental health crises – freeing up police resources while providing a more humane response.”
According to a VT attorneys’ website, Kenney began practicing law in 1991 in his hometown of Richmond. His practice focuses on personal injury, civil litigation, DUI and criminal defense.
He is the former Vice-President of the Vermont Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and has also served as Vice-President of the Chittenden County Bar Association. He is still a member of those organizations, and is a member of the American Bar Association and the Vermont Association for Justice, formerly known as the Vermont Trial Lawyers Association.