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Franklin County Sheriff-elect facing a second criminal investigation

A man in a blue shirt and blazer poses for a picture.
Wilson Ring
Associated Press
Sheriff-elect John Grismore is facing another criminal inquiry, this time into the finances of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department. Grismore also faces an assault charge for kicking a man who was handcuffed and shackled.

The incoming Franklin County Sheriff, who has been charged with assault for kicking a handcuffed man, is facing another criminal inquiry, according to Vermont State Police.

VSP spokesperson Adam Silverman confirmed in an email that state police are looking "into the finances at the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department and Sheriff-elect John Grismore."

Silverman declined to provide further details, citing the ongoing investigation.

More from Vermont Public: Candidate facing assault charge wins Franklin County sheriff race

The probe started after a referral last week from the State Auditor’s office, which conducts regular financial audits of all 14 sheriff departments. A recent review of the Franklin County Sheriff Department’s finances, conducted by an outside agency hired by the state, found something that “raised some eyebrows,” said State Auditor Doug Hoffer.

“It appears to be a big deal in the context of that office,” Hoffer said in an interview Thursday. “You don't call the state police if you find somebody taking paperclips.”

Hoffer declined to provide further details due to the ongoing investigation.

More from Vermont Public: Franklin County sheriff candidate pleads not guilty to kicking a handcuffed person

Grismore, who’s set to take office next week, said in an email he wasn’t aware of any financial issues at the department. He also noted that he hasn’t worked at the department in six months.

Grismore is a former deputy in the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department, and he was fired this summer after news outlets published video of him kicking a handcuffed and shackled man who was being held at the department. The video came out shortly after he won the Republican and Democratic primary for sheriff. Both parties called on Grismore to drop out of the race, but he refused and defended his actions.

He won election in November, a few weeks after pleading not guilty to simple assault. That case is still pending, and will not prevent him from taking office. The only way a sheriff can be removed from their position is impeachment, a process that would start in the Legislature.

The current Franklin County Sheriff, Roger Langevin, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Liam is Vermont Public’s public safety reporter, focusing on law enforcement, courts and the prison system.
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