Plans for Windham County Sheriff to step down temporarily derailed

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(Host) A plan for Windham County Sheriff Sheila Prue to temporarily step aside has been derailed.

An audit in April charged that Prue diverted tens of thousand of dollars for personal use and left her department on the brink of insolvency.

The case is under investigation by the state Attorney General and the U.S. Justice Department.

At a press conference in Newfane this afternoon, members of the Vermont Sheriff’s Association said they thought they’d struck a deal with Prue. But last night, after weeks of negotiations, Prue’s attorney said that she would not step aside.

The proposal called for the Sheriff’s association’s six-person executive board to temporarily run the Windham County Department.

LaMoille County Sheriff Roger Marcox is the Sheriff’s Association’s 1st Vice President.

(Marcox) “Sheriff Prue would have remained the Sheriff of Windham County. We would have been deputized as Windham County deputies. Sheriff Forrest, who’s the sheriff from Bennington county would have been the day to day deputy in charge. And the reason that six of us were involved was to rotate time into the office because we all have responsibilities in our respective counties. But basically our first task would have been to stabilize the department financially and to safeguard jobs.”

(Host) Marcox said Prue would have been allowed to keep her base pay of $59,000 dollars-a-year. He said negotiations had continued all day today, and that the deal was still on the table.

Newfane State Representative Richard Marek said the Windham County Legislative Delegation was also involved, and hoped Prue would accept.

(Marek) “We thought that was important from the standpoint of stabilizing the department, restoring public faith in the department and permitting sheriff Prue to proceed with responding in an orderly fashion to the audit report from the state auditor.”

(Host) The only way a sheriff can be forced to step down is by popular vote or by impeachment by the legislature.

Marek, who sits on the House Judiciary Committee, says impeachment is unlikely. Prue is up for re-election in November.

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