County sheriff reimburses department for political ad

MIDDLEBURY — Addison County Sheriff Don Keeler took a step to put to rest questions about how he used sheriff’s department funds to support a candidate in the recent election.
Last Thursday, the Addison Independent reported that Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos and State Auditor Doug Hoffer had criticized Keeler for using some of his department’s funds during the Nov. 8 election to back his preferred candidate for high bailiff.
Specifically, Keeler use a check drawn on the sheriff’s department’s general fund to pay $154 for advertising that had run in the Independent in support of high bailiff candidate Charles Clark.
While that didn’t violate Vermont campaign finance laws Condos and Hoffer both questioned the advisability of an elected official using his or her department funds to influence a partisan election.
Last Friday, Sheriff Keeler told the Independent that he had reimbursed the Addison County Sheriff’s Department for the $154 in question. He said he thought the contribution to a 33-year veteran of the department was fair.

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