Impeached But Not Out: Sheriff Pressured to Resign After Kicking Shackled Prisoner


Sheriff John Grismore of Franklin County, Vermont, finds himself in the spotlight once again as a special legislative committee urges him to resign following assault charges. While the committee has not recommended impeachment, it strongly believes that Grismore’s actions have damaged the reputation of his office and made it highly inappropriate for him to remain in power.

Assault Allegations and Investigation

In February 2023, Grismore was elected Franklin County Sheriff despite being implicated in an assault case. Prior to his appointment, he had served as a captain in the same department but was fired for allegedly kicking a shackled prisoner. Grismore pleaded not guilty to the simple assault charge, maintaining his innocence.

Shortly after taking office, the Vermont State Police launched an investigation into the finances of both Grismore and the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department. Additionally, the Vermont Criminal Justice Council found that Grismore had violated the state’s use of force policy and recommended he permanently lose his law enforcement certification.

Legislative Committee’s Report

The special legislative committee spent several months investigating the matter and recently released a report voicing their concerns about Grismore’s fitness as Sheriff. The report emphasized the importance of a Sheriff being able to fulfill law enforcement duties and receive ongoing training, both currently unavailable to Grismore as a decertified officer.

Furthermore, the committee stated that a person in such a position of authority should display the highest level of integrity, honesty, and conduct. “Through his actions, past and present, Mr. Grismore has demonstrated none of these qualities,” the committee determined.

Resolution for Grismore’s Resignation

Based on the findings of the legislative committee, members of the House plan to introduce a resolution urging Grismore to step down as Sheriff. The resolution acknowledges that while Grismore’s actions may not meet the criteria for impeachment, they are nonetheless highly detrimental to the citizens of Franklin County.

Grismore’s Response

When asked for a statement, Grismore did not immediately respond. However, he previously expressed vindication upon hearing that the legislative committee decided not to pursue impeachment.

Call for Resignation

The committee’s report and subsequent resolution highlight the deep concern and loss of trust in Grismore’s ability to effectively serve the people of Franklin County as Sheriff. The allegations of assault, the investigation into the finances of his department, and the loss of his law enforcement certification have all played a significant role in the call for his resignation.

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