The ousted Vermont sheriff’s captain who was charged with assault for allegedly kicking a shackled prisoner clinched election to be that county’s next top cop Tuesday.
Despite the legal trouble, John Grismore, 49, won the Franklin County sheriff’s seat Tuesday by beating out two write-in candidates to take over the department that fired him, according to the Vermont secretary of state’s office.
Grismore was the only candidate on the ballot after he won both the Republican and Democratic nominations in an August 9 primary.
But he was suspended and eventually terminated after video released a day after the primary appeared to show him kicking a prisoner.
The footage, from an Aug. 7 incident, shows Grismore allegedly kicking the prisoner in the crotch and abdomen several times as he was handcuffed to a bench.
He pleaded not guilty to simple assault last month.
After his win, Grismore said he was grateful that “voters were afforded an opportunity to understand the facts and circumstances” surrounding the case. He also claimed the information about his suspension and video were “leaked” without context.
Grismore also maintained he used the minimum amount of force on the prisoner to prevent him from spitting on him and other deputies. He said he believes he will be found not guilty of the charge.
“I think a lot of people could see that this sure felt like a political ploy to undermine a campaign,” he said.
But current Sheriff Roger Langevin, who Grismore is going to replace, said other deputies told him about Grismore’s “egregious” actions.
In a bid to stop Grismore, the county’s GOP and Democratic parties backed write-in candidate Mark Lauer, a lieutenant with the department and longtime law enforcement veteran.
But Grismore collected 8,900 votes easily to earn the powerful position, according to results released Friday and reported on by the VT Digger.
Lauer reportedly came in second with 5,281 votes, though another 650 were not included in that number because his name was misspelled by voters. Another 626 voters picked Gale Messier, who is a two-time sheriff’s candidate, according to VT Digger.
Grismore told VT Digger he thinks it’ll be “a great challenge and a great opportunity for me to prove them all wrong” concerning the voters who didn’t want him.
Meanwhile, Lauer explained he only had three months to campaign and get his name out.
“It was a difficult situation to be in,” he said.
He told VT Digger he plans to leave the sheriff’s department by the time Grismore takes over on Jan. 31.
With Post wires