Bristol chief reprimanded, will pay restitution to town

BRISTOL — The Bristol selectboard last week disciplined Police Chief Kevin Gibbs for his handling of a grant over three years.
On Dec. 17, the board held a disciplinary hearing in executive session to discuss Gibbs’ handling of a Department of Health grant. In public session, the selectboard voted to direct Town Administrator Bill Bryant to issue a written reprimand to Gibbs, and to require Gibbs to pay $6,895 in restitution to the police department by June 30, 2013.
The town of Bristol had fronted $9,754 to the police department over the course of three fiscal years under the expectation that the funds would be reimbursed from the Department of Health grant.
It recently came to light that the grant for FY2011 had never been closed out, and that the grant had not been renewed with the state agency for 2012 or 2013. However, Gibbs authorized $5,839 in spending during FY2012 and $1,056 in the current fiscal year.
Out of more than $8,000 in authorized expenses from FY2011, $2,859 were not immediately requisitioned from the Department of Health or refunded to the town of Bristol. Following efforts by town officials and Gibbs to have the Department of Health reconsider its original refusal to pay out FY2011 balances during FY2013, Bristol was reimbursed the $2,859 from FY2011 bringing the total amount of lost town funds down to $6,895.
The Bristol Police Department had received the same state grant for a number of years for its service as the lead agency for the Stop Teen Alcohol Risk Team, known as START, in Addison County. START is funded by the Department of Health’s Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Programs, which in turn received federal funding from the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. The Bristol Police Department’s grant, though longstanding, needed to be renewed each year.
Bryant said the restitution is subject to reduction if the state reimburses more funds from FY2012 or the current fiscal year.

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