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Franklin County's interim state's attorney is a veteran prosecutor and recently-ordained priest

A photo of a man with a beard in a suit and tie.
Gov. Phil Scott on Monday appointed Bram Kranichfeld to serve as the interim Franklin County state’s attorney.

Gov. Phil Scott announced on Monday that he’d appointed Bram Kranichfeld as interim Franklin County state’s attorney.

Kranichfeld, a veteran prosecutor and now a priest, replaces John Lavoie, who resigned amid an investigation into allegations he created a hostile work environment.

“Given the difficult nature of this vacancy at the state’s attorney’s office, I believe it’s important to provide stability and certainty through this transition until a permanent replacement is identified,” Scott said in a written statement. “Bram has demonstrated his commitment to community, and his significant experience practicing law makes him a good fit to serve in this interim role.”

More from Vermont Public: Franklin County’s top prosecutor resigns amid impeachment investigation

Kranichfeld served as chief of the criminal division at the Vermont Attorney General’s office from 2018 to 2019. Prior to that he was in the Chittenden County state’s attorney’s office as a deputy prosecutor and the chief deputy.

“I am truly honored and humbled to be called to this important service. I look forward to beginning the hard work of starting the healing process and restoring confidence in this office,” Kranichfeld said in a written statement.

Kranichfeld left his law career in 2019 to become a priest, according toSeven Days. He’s currently Priest-in-Charge at All Saints & St. Paul’s Episcopal Churches.

Kranichfeld will take over an office that’s had a tumultuous few months. An internal investigation released in May found Lavoie, the former state’s attorney, made dozens of inappropriate or offensive comments about race, religion, sexual orientation, weight and people with disabilities, and at least two instances of unwanted physical contact.

After the report came out, Lavoie refused to resign, and lawmakers began the impeachment process, the only way to remove an elected official from office. The impeachment committee took testimony from 31 witnesses this summer, though that work was done almost entirely behind closed doors.

More from Vermont Public: Vt. House lawmakers begin impeachment process for Franklin County sheriff and state's attorney

The committee conducting the impeachment investigation ended its inquiry into Lavoie’s conduct after he announced he’d step down. The group won’t take any further actions regarding Lavoie, according to the committee.

Lawmakers are still conducting a separate impeachment investigation into Franklin County Sheriff John Grismore, who’s facing a criminal charge after video showed him kicking a handcuffed man. Grismore has pleaded not guilty to a charge of simple assault.

State police are also investigating financial issues at the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department.

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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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