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VUHS head’s legal case ends in deal

MIDDLEBURY — On July 9 in Addison Superior Court, Vergennes Union High School Co-Principal Edwin Webbley pleaded no contest to a charge of careless or negligent operation of a motor vehicle in a plea deal that ended a case against him that began on Feb. 6, when Vermont State Police alleged he was driving under the influence of alcohol.
According to court documents, Webbley, a 57-year-old Bristol resident and the Vermont Principals’ Association 2010 Robert F. Pierce Vermont Secondary Principal of the Year, was fined $400 for the offense, plus $201 in surcharges.
Last week, Addison Northwest Supervisory Union Superintendent Thomas O’Brien said he and VUHS officials consider the issue to be resolved, “to the extent there are no further incidents, and I don’t expect any.”
O’Brien noted that, among other things, Webbley was dealing with painful back and leg pain last winter and spring and was already on medical leave at the time of the Feb. 6 incident at his Bristol home that led to the citation.
“There was a set of difficult circumstances,” O’Brien said. “I think he’s moved on, and so have we.”
Webbley returned to work on a part-time basis in April and then full-time beginning on April 30.
In May, the VUHS board met with Webbley in a confidential executive session. O’Brien said at that time no decision was made at the meeting, and that Webbley remained under contract at VUHS. This coming fall will mark the start of Webbley’s seventh year at the school.
VSP originally cited Webbley for DUI on the evening of Feb. 6 after his wife called police to the Webbleys’ Bristol home and told them Webbley’s car had struck the back of their garage. According to VSP, Webbley’s wife told them Webbley was “intoxicated and that he was a danger to himself and others.”
VSP said when they arrived at the home they found damage to the car and the garage and determined that Webbley had “operated a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.” VSP alleged his blood alcohol content tested at higher than 0.10 percent, over the legal limit of 0.08. 

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