Gov. Shumlin appoints Keeler as new sheriff

MIDDLEBURY — Gov. Peter Shumlin on Wednesday appointed longtime deputy Donald Keeler to succeed the late James Coons as Addison County Sheriff.
Keeler, a Middlebury resident and 40-year member of the Addison County Sheriff’s Department, had recently been endorsed for the post by both the Addison County Democratic and Republican parties. Keeler began as a part-time deputy with the department in 1972, and joined on a full-time basis in 1988 at Coons’ request after Keeler sold his Court Street gas station. 
Susan Allen, Gov. Shumlin’s spokesperson, said Keeler’s background and those two endorsements had both factored into the governor’s decision.
“The governor did consider his extensive experience and the fact that he was recommended by both parties,” Allen said.
Keeler, who has been running the department on an interim basis since Coons died after a battle with cancer on April 16, will serve the remainder of Coons’ term, which expires in February 2015. At that point, should Keeler choose, he would have to stand for election.
Addison County Assistant Judge Frank Broughton will swear in Keeler, already the county’s high bailiff, at the Addison County Courthouse at 11:30 a.m. on July 3. Allen said Shumlin would speak at the ceremony.

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