Vermont police charge sheriff candidate for kicking inmate

Fired Vermont legislator Sole Candidate in November Ballot He was charged Friday with simple assault of kicking a shackles prisoner to become a sheriff in the county where he served, officials said.

Fairfax’s John Grismore, 49, was indicted Friday through his lawyers. He is scheduled to appear in court in St. Albans on Monday to answer the charges, according to a Vermont State Police news release.

Surveillance cameras recorded a prisoner being kicked on August 7. In the August 9 primary, Grismore won both the Republican and Democratic nominations for Franklin County, putting his name on the November sheriff ballot. However, after the video was released, he was suspended and then dismissed By outgoing Franklin County Sheriff Roger Langevin.

Republicans and Democrats in the county supported a writing campaign led by Lt. Mark Lauer, a 27-year Vermont State Police veteran who has been with the Vermont Police Department for nearly a decade. Gail Messier is also conducting a writing campaign. He spent decades in law enforcement, including his 20 years with the sheriff’s office in Chittenden County, Vermont’s most populous county.

On Friday, Grismore said in an email that “the story hasn’t changed” and had nothing new to add.

In a subsequent message, however, Grismore said he was “surprised and disappointed” that the State Police investigation resulted in a misdemeanor charge of simple assault. He continued to insist that he used the minimum amount of force necessary to prevent .

“While this latest measure is disappointing, I look forward to the opportunity to fully clear my name,” Grismore said. When all the facts come out, I am confident that I will be quickly and fully established.”

Early voting is well underway in Vermont, and mail-in ballots have already been distributed.

Messier said on Friday that charging is a good thing.

“You can’t be a bully. You’re a police officer,” Messier said.

Lauer said Friday he had no comment.

Vermont State Department attorneys and sheriffs say that if Grismore wins and takes office, the only mechanism to remove him is impeachment by Congress.