JOHN F. CAMPBELL, ESQ.
110 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05633-6401
PHONE: (802) 828-2891 FAX: (802) 828-2881
STATE OF VERMONT
OFFICE OF THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
DEPARTMENT OF STATE'S ATTORNEYS & SHERIFFS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (EMBARGOED UNTIL 1:15PM)
MAY 2, 2023
MONTPELIER – The Executive Committee of State’s Attorneys has formally requested that Franklin County State’s Attorney John Lavoie resign based on the findings of an investigation that substantiated a pattern of harassment and discriminatory conduct directed at employees and other individuals.
In March 2023, the Office of the Executive Director for the Department of State’s Attorneys and Sheriffs became aware of allegations of misconduct in the workplace by State’s Attorney Lavoie. Independent, professional investigators were retained to conduct an inquiry into the allegations. A final report was provided to the Department of State’s Attorneys and Sheriffs at the end of last week.
Multiple allegations made by employees of the Office of the Franklin County State’s Attorney were found credible and were substantiated, including additional incidents not initially disclosed. There is credible evidence to conclude that State’s Attorney Lavoie engaged in the maltreatment of employees through repeated discriminatory comments and actions including but not limited to derogatory references to national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, and body composition. Further, at least two instances of unwanted physical contact, not of a sexual nature, were substantiated.
On Friday, April 28, 2023, the members of the Executive Committee of State’s Attorneys reviewed the contents of the report, and directed Executive Director, John Campbell, to communicate the request that State’s Attorney Lavoie step down. State’s Attorney Lavoie declined. Yesterday, the Executive Committee, for the benefit of his staff and the community he serves, again asked State’s Attorney Lavoie to resign. State’s Attorney Lavoie has again declined.
The Department of State’s Attorneys and Sheriffs has taken the following additional actions in response to the report:
- The leadership of the Vermont General Assembly has been informed of the nature and results of the investigation, and the Department has requested that the House of Representatives to consider impeachment proceedings.
- The Office of the Attorney General has been advised that they may need to intervene to ensure prosecutions and public safety obligations in Franklin County continue without interruption, and we have requested that the Attorney General be prepared to take any other actions to ensure the integrity of the criminal justice system.
- Other necessary referrals, as required by law and attorney ethics rules, have been made based on the investigative findings.
The Department of State’s Attorneys and Sheriffs is fully committed to its employees. The rights and protection of our employees include entitlement to a workplace that is free from harassment and discrimination, but beyond these basic expectations our employees deserve to be treated with dignity, respect, and appreciation by the state’s attorney. We stand with the deputy state’s attorneys, victim advocates, and administrative staff in Franklin County who have been impacted and will continue to support them and their work on behalf of Vermonters. We are deeply appreciative of their commitment to the victims and communities they serve – their continued professionalism is a testament to their dedication and selfless service to the State of Vermont.
Each State’s Attorney takes an oath of office that requires doing equal right and justice to all. There must be accountability and consequence for improper behavior. To that end the Department supports the Executive Committee’s call for State’s Attorney Lavoie to resign immediately.
Point of contact for this event is Annie Noonan who may be reached at (802) 828-5394 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The original PDF version of this press release can be found here SAS-Press-Release-5-2-23-.pdf