Middlebury official, citizen accept court diversion offer
MIDDLEBURY — A Middlebury official and a former resident who were involved in an Aug. 9 scuffle at the town offices have accepted court diversion to resolve their respective citations for disorderly conduct.
A citizen named Rocket and Jamie Gaucher, director of the town’s Office of Business Development & Innovation, were scheduled to answer to the misdemeanor charges in Addison Superior Court, criminal division, on Monday. But both accepted an offer from the Addison County State’s Attorney’s Office to forego their respective arraignments and instead get an opportunity to resolve their cases through the Balanced and Restorative Justice Program (BARJ) of Addison County.
This means Rocket’s and Gaucher’s respective court files — including the Middlebury Police Department’s investigation report on the case — will remain sealed and they will carry no criminal record if they successfully complete the BARJ program.
Both Gaucher and Rocket declined comment on the resolution of the case.
Middlebury police reported the Aug. 9 incident began as a verbal confrontation outside the municipal building — on the walkway between the library and municipal building — shortly before 8:30 a.m. Primary elections were in progress inside the municipal building at the time and people were inside queuing up to vote, according to police. The town offices were also open at the time to both the staff and public.
The confrontation continued in the stairwell of the municipal building and escalated to a physical fight on the second floor landing, police reported. In the ensuing melee, Gaucher received head and facial lacerations and bruises, while Rocket received contusions on the forehead. Both later sought medical treatment, reporting they had received concussions, according to the police record.
Both men subsequently filed temporary “no-stalking orders” against one another, according to Middlebury police.
Gaucher was initially placed on administrative leave, with pay, and returned to work a few weeks later following the conclusion of an independent investigation into the incident.
Here’s how the BARJ process works: A defendant has his or her case reviewed by the state prosecutor. If the prosecutor determines the infraction is relatively minor and the defendant has no criminal record (or a brief criminal history), the defendant can be recommended as a candidate for BARJ.
The defendant speaks about his or her case with the BARJ board of directors, which often includes some current or former law enforcement officials. The defendant and BARJ board agree on a contract, which might call for the defendant to perform community service, write a letter of apology, or some other form of restitution. If the defendant successfully completes the contract within the specified period of time, the state prosecutor will drop the criminal case and the defendant will carry no record of the incident. If the defendant does not complete the contract, the prosecutor will take the case back to court.
Reporter John Flowers is at firstname.lastname@example.org.