Sheriff lets several deputies go

Sheriff lets several deputies go

There are 75 comments on the Bennington Banner story from Feb 17, 2011, titled Sheriff lets several deputies go. In it, Bennington Banner reports that:

Bennington County Sheriff Chad Schmidt has chosen not to re-appoint "several" deputies, but is denying assertions by some that his decisions were politically motivated.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Bennington Banner.

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East Otis, MA

#1 Feb 17, 2011
this is terrible. bennington county is strapped for officers and good ones at that. this story comes out the same day about corruption in the police system...a state trooper charged in a domestic assult case, being picked up and driven home by another officer when he probably should have been cited for public intoxication.(if he was in fact, intoxicated). now, because of more politics we lose 3 other officers?? for their vote!? schmitt wont be winning any hearts this way. again, bennington 3 more officers-- sad. john behan sr (and jr. for that matter) are outstanding men and citizens. bennington county is at a loss when they let john go.
Lawrence T Cole

Arlington, VT

#2 Feb 17, 2011
Though I resigned before he could let me go, Chad is a complete and absolute hypocrite. I came to that conclusion that though I love doing law enforcement in Bennington, my hometown, the sheriff’s department is a very amateur and unorthodox department. I think the voters of Bennington were misinformed on who they were voting for and might have voted differently if they knew who the so called sheriff really is. Most of the deputies at the department are very good people and are good at what each and every one of them do. This is Not an attempt to bash the deputies but to only tell a small portion of what I saw and went through at the sheriff’s department. Schmidt is a man who will look you right in the face and lie to you no matter who you are. He’s a person who only looks out for himself for personal gain. Because of this it is very unfortunate for the people who look up to him for guidance.

Larry Cole 22 yrs old
Just wondering

Farmington, ME

#3 Feb 17, 2011

I'm wondering if it would have been more appropriate for you to have sat down with the Sheriff face to face and shared your opinion and observations of his leadership behavior with him personally?

Just a thought.
Lawrence T Cole

Arlington, VT

#4 Feb 17, 2011
Just wondering wrote:
I'm wondering if it would have been more appropriate for you to have sat down with the Sheriff face to face and shared your opinion and observations of his leadership behavior with him personally?
Just a thought.
Just wondering.. I respect your opinion. Not wanting to get into specific details I had tired numerous times to have talks with him. I was told he was to busy to deal with personnel issues.
little bird

Bennington, VT

#5 Feb 17, 2011
i told you so. c.s. is following right in the foot steps of his predecessor g.f. and will do the same and even more unimaginable things to retain and retire from this position. not before grooming the next sheriff though. firing good hard working people for no good reason? give me a break. it's obvious why he did it. the ones who supported c.s. handing out campaign materials paid for by the sheriffs department while on paid duty didn't get fired. why not? like they say on wrgb cbs 6, you paid for it. just like you paid for g.f. and now c.s name on everything bcd owns. the sheriff's in this county, state and country including c.s. are the most powerful people in law enforcement and politics at the same time. no one person should have that much power/control. i'm glad you all got to see an example of this display of power first hand. i just hope those of you who voted him in are happy and stay happy because the next victim could be you. i'm sure there will be more to follow.....

Bennington, VT

#6 Feb 18, 2011
Is it possible that the winner of the election needed to align his plans for the future with a team that was ready to go forward in his direction?
Lot's of nice people get let go every day. It is always hard when this happens. At the end of the day, the sheriff is elected to accomplish many things, and will be held accountable to get those things done.
Local Felon

Canaan, CT

#7 Feb 18, 2011
B R A V O, there is a new sheriff in town.
Open Mind

Canaan, CT

#8 Feb 18, 2011
A bunch of second guessers, arm chair quarterbacks and back seat drivers whining over spilt milk. When one is elected on the basis of their public campaign, clearly the voters are demanding the efficient cause of Bennington County Sheriff Chad Schmidt.
Early Bird

Bennington, VT

#9 Feb 18, 2011
Hey CT is this what you mean by getting things done and accountable?

Woman suing Bennington Sheriff's Department

MANCHESTER — A New York woman who claims she was roughed up and falsely arrested by a pair of deputies has sued the Bennington County Sheriff's Department.

U.S. District Court Judge William Sessions denied the department's motion to dismiss the case last week, saying there were questions that should be decided by a jury.

Angela Nelson, 47, of Queensbury, N.Y., claims that Deputy Sheriff Chad Schmidt and, to a lesser extent, Deputy1 Sheriff Christopher Lauzon maliciously violated her First Amendment rights after a traffic stop in August 2000.

What ever happened with this anyways? I don't remember ever hearing another thing about it. I wonder why?

Here is another.

Brock wants continuing sheriff audits

Most sheriff departments received decent marks in Brock's report, although five of the departments, including the Bennington County Sheriff's Department, had material weaknesses in accounting standards.

Who was doing the books? Deputy Sheriff Chad Schmidt of course.

And another.

Apr. 17--BENNINGTON -- The Bennington County Sheriff's Department is denying a suit by several former members of the department who claim they were not properly paid for hours they worked.

The suit was filed in December in U.S. District Court in Burlington by an attorney representing Wayne Godfrey, who claims he was either not paid or was underpaid for hours worked that were classified as overtime by the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Godfrey is seeking what he is owed in overtime pay as well as compensation for legal fees resulting from the suit, according to his complaint.

Practices questioned

"The employment and work records for the plaintiff are in the exclusive possession, custody, and control of defendant, and plaintiff is unable to state precisely at this time the exact amounts owed to him," Godfrey's attorney, James Dunn, wrote in the complaint.

At least two other former members of the department have signed on to the suit.

Godfrey is currently employed by the Vermont State Police as a trooper and is stationed at the barracks in Shaftsbury.

According to Dunn, Godfrey worked at the department from April 2007 to June 2009. Godfrey and other deputies had questioned the department's overtime practices and were given answers that satisfied them at the time, Dunn said. But Dunn said he has determined that there was no legal rationale behind the department's methods.

Former Bennington Sheriff

Gary Forrest ran the department at the time but has since retired. Sheriff Chad Schmidt has since replaced him.

The sheriff's department filed a response to the suit this week denying that Godfrey and others plaintiffs have "any valid cause of action or is entitled to any form of relief." The filing also states, among other defenses, that the department "did not willfully and with intent deprive Plaintiff of any compensation owed to him under the provisions of the (Fair Labor Standards Act)."

The department's filing asks for the suit to be dismissed or for a jury trial.

Schmidt has said he does not have first-hand knowledge of Godfrey's situation. However, if the department owes Godfrey money, Schmidt previously said the department "will hold ourselves accountable and step up to the plate to make things right."

Hows this moving along?

And now "getting rid" of good hard working people who need the money in the bad economy and who were doing their jobs as good as the next guy and for no other reason than they might get in his way between now and the next election.

A little bit goes a long way and all this will likely come back to bite him where it counts.
Early Bird

Bennington, VT

#10 Feb 18, 2011
The funny part is he overlooked all the ones (you know who they are) who are doing him the most damage and will cost him down the road and got rid of ones he could have worked with and around up to and through the next election. Ever hear of keep your friends close and your enemies closer? I guess the new sheriff in town wants to do it the hard way, bass ackwards. The sheriff, his deputies, staff and the department will be in the news a lot over these next 4 years and the news won't always be good news. Is he ready to be accountable for whats coming? Sorry but now that he is the sheriff he doesn't have a choice and can't back out over and over like he did when he was a deputy.

Canaan, CT

#11 Feb 18, 2011
Hey eb and all the others bytchyn about the BCS elect:
There will be another political cycle in which to judge the Sheriff on the merits of his total record reguarding his campaign promises and job performance. Get out and hit the ballot box then, when there will be solid metrics to judge from.
Early Bird

Bennington, VT

#12 Feb 18, 2011
There were plenty of solid metrics to judge from prior to the last election and the voters did judge Schmidt. Not sure if you CT people realize it or not or why you even care with your limited mindset but not everyone voted for Schmidt. His results were poor. Now there are some solid metrics to judge from.

Middlebury, VT

#13 Feb 18, 2011
I would do the same thing the sheriff did. Why would any boss keep employees that are not loyal to him?? The way Larry Cole cut down his fellow deputies basically saying they are a good bunch but they are a bunch of amateurs I would not want to work with him. What a knife in the back to your fellow deputies Larry!!!!!

Jaffrey, NH

#14 Feb 18, 2011
Let me first preface my statement by saying that I am not a support of Schmidt or Behan. Sheriff Schmidt, you are the greatest definition of the word coward I have ever seen. You terminate a man of Mr. Behan's stature, a long time serving law enforcement officer of multiple agencies, as well as a public servant to the Town of Bennington through his past involvement with the Bennington Fire Department, by sending him a letter. You are not man enough to have the respect and honor to give Mr. Behan his walking papers man to man?? Very shrewed I would say. I think it is time you start showing some people some respect that is rightfully earned to them.
Let's hope next election that the republican party can find a suitable candidate to challenge the democratic candidate and remove this Coward from office.
Vemont Girl

Bennington, VT

#15 Feb 18, 2011
Chad Is the biggest hypocrite and lier I have come across I did not vote for the man would not waste my time either he will get his do justice in the end remember chad what comes around goes around.

Hay chad the cops let go where they doing a better job then you and showed u up and u could not take the heat.
I have to tell you

United States

#16 Feb 18, 2011
Larry Cole Jr. why don't you tell people what you were doing in a Sheriff Patrol Car with your time on duty. Alot of people in Bennington know. Maybe you would like that info to get out to the public

Fernandina Beach, FL

#17 Feb 18, 2011
Let's not be naive here. The dismissed officers chose to engage in politics against their boss. They actively engaged in politics hoping to obtain benefits if their person won. We will never now all that went on. In a law enforcement situation, it is dangerous to have members of the force who may not be committed to their colleagues.

Bennington, VT

#18 Feb 18, 2011
Thursday it was the state troopers, Friday it's the sheriffs, here a suggesting for the banner to investigate for Saturday's paper. Look into the so called choir boy parties of the bennington police department.
Bennington Voter

Bennington, VT

#19 Feb 18, 2011
Fred wrote:
Let's not be naive here. The dismissed officers chose to engage in politics against their boss. They actively engaged in politics hoping to obtain benefits if their person won. We will never now all that went on. In a law enforcement situation, it is dangerous to have members of the force who may not be committed to their colleagues.
The only deputy who actively engaged in the election process and was let go was John Behan, Sr. and he never did it on duty time. The others just refused to put a Chad Schmidt sign in their yards. Chad can try to explain this away but it can't be done. It was political retaliation. He was able to bully most of his deputies into putting signs in their yards by telling them that Behan was going to chop heads if he took office. He also bought their allegiance by paying them with Department monies to politic for him at the polls on election day. A daily banner reader will also notice that all those so called "non political" advertisements run for the Sheriff during the election have disappeared since he took office. I know the Behan family well and John was cut out of the work force long before he got his letter of dismissal.

Brookfield, VT

#20 Feb 18, 2011
I'm not from Bennington & standing from the outside looking in--this appears to be pure corruption in it's finest moment!!!

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