Sheriff Loses Certification After Being Charged With Assault

The certification of a Vermont sheriff who is facing assault charges for kicking a bound prisoner has been revoked.

John Grismore, sheriff of Franklin County, Vermont, was found guilty of violating the state’s policy on the use of force after two days of testimony. The Vermont Criminal Justice Council voted 15-1 to strip him of his authority in Vermont permanently.

Vermont sheriffs aren’t required to have a police certification, so the revocation will not affect his ability to continue serving as sheriff.

Chairman of the Vermont Criminal Justice Council Bill Sorrell told local media that he hoped officers would think long and hard before acting like this. Although Grismore will retain his position as sheriff, he will be stripped of the authority to issue citations, make arrests, and conduct criminal investigations.

He said he would appeal.

Robert Kaplan, his attorney, told the media that showing police officers that they risk losing their jobs if they go above and beyond to help and interfere with dangerous and disruptive people will have a profoundly demoralizing impact.

Grismore was dismissed from his position as captain in the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department in August 2022 after the release of footage showing him kicking a chained prisoner. He was nonetheless elected sheriff in November of the same year. He entered a not-guilty plea to the accusation of simple assault.

According to state police, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department and Grismore were the subjects of an investigation into their finances just before he assumed office.

Additionally, he must deal with the findings of an inquiry into his potential impeachment by a special committee of the Vermont Legislature.

A local article from December 21 stated that the Vermont Sheriffs’ Association has demanded the immediate resignation of Grismore after he lost his police certification for a breach of the state’s policy on the use of force.

In his first appearance before the House committee looking into the possibility of impeachment, Grismore made it clear that he had no intention of resigning.

He informed legislators that he disagreed with the notion that outside authorities know Franklin County better than locals. He doesn’t care about the concerns, views, or entitlements of those outside of Franklin County.