Weekly Dispatch with Mayor Sullivan

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Mayoral Statement Re Charboneau

As for new business the other week, at the City Council meeting I briefly addressed an exchange that occurred concerning Council Members Charboneau and Curtis.

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As I understand it, Council Member Charboneau hand delivered to Police Chief Bingham various Vermont statutes concerning the criminal impersonation of a police officer. That same day, Council Member Charboneau used his city email address to send an email to City Manager DeLabruere, directing the City Manager to forward a criminal complaint concerning Council Member Curtis to Orleans County Sheriff’s Department.

Although I am not aware of Council Member Charboneau’s precise concerns, I understand that Council Member Charboneau is seeking an investigation into whether Council Member Curtis violated Vermont law by acting briefly as both a City Council member and City Constable.

As you know, Council Member Curtis resigned from his position as City Constable last week after Council Member Charboneau raised concerns that the constable position was incompatible with his position as a Newport City councilor. Council Member Curtis was City Constable for approximately 30 days.

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Council Member Curtis did not take any action as Constable before resigning from office. Council Member Curtis did not receive any compensation from the city for his brief tenure as City Constable.

As your mayor, it is my job to ensure that the laws and city ordinances of Newport are enforced and that City officers faithfully perform their duties to the members of this community. I take these responsibilities seriously. This type of infighting and abuse of law enforcement resources is not in the best interests of the City. Council Member Charboneau has no authority over the City Manager or the Police Chief. More importantly, he has no right to seek a criminal investigation on behalf of the City.

As a private citizen, Council Member Charboneau has the right to access law enforcement just like any other member of this community, but he cannot do so in his official capacity on behalf of the City. If he continues to have concerns about Council Member Curtis’s very brief tenure as City Constable, I invite him to pursue those concerns as a private citizen.

AGAIN, the City has not participated in Council Member Charboneau’s actions nor has the City authorized or endorsed these actions. Council Member Charboneau has no authority over the City Manager or the Police Chief and ABSOLUTELY no right to seek a criminal investigation on behalf of the City.

At the last Council Meeting, Citizens, in alignment with Council Member Curtis, demanded that Council Member Charboneau be censured and resign. The Council began a brief discussion regarding the citizens’ concerns, and is looking into the legality and issues around censureship.

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