ST. ALBANS –– The Vermont Criminal Justice Council concluded its second day of testimony in a contested hearing regarding Franklin County Sheriff John Grismore.
The hearing, initially held on November 14, 2023, resumed recently to incorporate witness testimonies.
The Council, operating under the Vermont Administrative Procedure Act, held the hearing to deliberate potential sanctions against Sheriff Grismore.
These sanctions range up to permanent revocation of his law enforcement officer certification, a decision stemming from allegations of unprofessional conduct.
Grismore is accused under several statutes, including a misdemeanor for simple assault committed while on duty, and gross professional misconduct, specifically for violating the state’s use of force policy.
During the first session on November 14, the Council’s staff attorney presented evidence relating to Grismore’s alleged breach of the Use of Force policy. This focus was chosen to avoid any interference with the ongoing court proceedings regarding the assault charge.
The recent session featured testimony from a defense expert witness.
Following this, the Council members entered an executive session to deliberate. Upon reconvening in a public session, a motion was proposed and seconded, leading to a unanimous vote (16-0) finding Grismore in violation of the State of Vermont’s Use of Force policy.
This policy violation is actionable by the Council even on a first offense.
A subsequent vote addressed possible sanctions, resulting in a decision for permanent revocation of Grismore’s Vermont Law Enforcement Certification by a vote of 15 in favor, 1 opposed.
The imposition of the sanction is scheduled to occur after a 10-business-day period following the Council’s decision.
This period allows Grismore the option to voluntarily surrender his certification in light of the Council’s findings of unprofessional conduct.