In Essex County, we can do better than Vince Illuzzi

To the Editor:

On Tuesday, Aug. 26, citizens of Essex County have a chance to vote for Julianne Woolard on the Republican ballot (or write her in on the Democratic ballot) for state's attorney. By voting for Julianne Woolard, we can end almost two decades of inattention and questionable ethics by the current state's attorney, the chief law enforcement officer of our county.

The incumbent Vince Illuzzi treats the job as less than part-time. Until recently, he was also a senator in Montpelier. When that gig ended, he became a paid lobbyist for the Vermont State Employees Union, now also spending most of his time in places other than Essex County. During 2012, he stayed busy campaigning for the job of state auditor. (He lost.) Essex County seems low on his list of priorities (although he gets paid $71,000 for the job.)

His career as a lawyer and as state's attorney has been marked by more plea deals than trials, plus a long string of ethical lapses. He has been reprimanded five times by the Vermont Board of Professional Conduct and was suspended twice from practicing law. Among other things, those ethical lapses included giving false statements to the police, letting a cop talk to a defendant without his lawyer present and using his Senate office to file complaints against judges "with reckless disregard" for basic facts and principles of law. (See Seven Days, "Crunch Time" September 2012.)

He doesn't live in Essex County and more importantly doesn't even keep the state's attorney's office here. Instead, the office is located in his second home in Orleans County.

On the other hand, Mr. Illuzzi's opponent, Julianne Woolard, is committed to restoring integrity, hard work and competence to the job and bringing the office back to Essex County where it belongs.

If you live in Essex County, join me in voting for Julianne Woolard for Essex County State's Attorney on Aug. 26. With her, we can do better.

Timothy Cahill

Guildhall, Vt.

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