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Explore our coverage of government and politics.

Neighbor In Shumlin Land Dispute Gets GOP-Connected Lawyer

AP File/Toby Talbot

A lawyer with connections to state and national Republicans has stepped in to represent a man who says Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin took advantage of him in a land deal.

Brady Toensing is a lawyer who practices in Washington, D.C. and lives in Charlotte.

Toensing said he was retained to represent Jeremy Dodge, Shumlin’s neighbor in East Montpelier. Shumlin bought Dodge’s 16 acre property for about a quarter of its assessed value days before it was scheduled to be sold last November at a town tax auction.

Dodge and his family have since regretted the deal, which included Shumlin paying off the back taxes and making repairs to Dodge’s house.

In a prepared statement, Toensing said Shumlin is a “sophisticated and shrewd” businessman.

The governor is “a businessman who is also the most powerful person in Vermont being represented by one of the best lawyers money can buy,” Toensing said. “Mr. Dodge clearly needed some help, and we welcome the opportunity to assist a fellow Vermonter.”

Toensing declined to say how he came to represent Dodge, or who was paying his fees.

Toensing has previously been involved in other politically charged cases. He represented then-Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie in a campaign violation case after Dubie ran against Shumlin in 2010.

Toensing is working on the Dodge matter with Joy Limoge, an attorney with experience in real estate issues. Limoge is also connected to state Republican causes. GOP gubernatorial candidate Randy Brock thanked her in his 2012 concession speech after he was defeated by Shumlin.

Shumlin has offered to sell the land back to Dodge, in exchange for repayment of the sale price.

The governor has retained former Attorney General Jerry Diamond to represent him. In a statement, Diamond said he was pleased Dodge has a lawyer and that he looks forward to working with Toensing to settle the matter.

John worked for VPR in 2001-2021 as reporter and News Director. Previously, John was a staff writer for the Sunday Times Argus and the Sunday Rutland Herald, responsible for breaking stories and in-depth features on local issues. He has also served as Communications Director for the Vermont Health Care Authority and Bureau Chief for UPI in Montpelier.
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