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Transcript of texts between Vergennes mayor and city manager

VERGENNES — A series of Wednesday morning texts between then Vergennes Mayor Jeff Fritz and City Manager Dan Hofman led to Deputy Mayor Lynn Donnelly calling for Fritz’s resignation and to the Vergennes City Council accepting his resignation at a special meeting the next day.
What follows is a transcript of those texts, edited for length and relevance:
Fritz: “Honestly, citizens are intimidated by our police and a citizen group can change that.”
Hofman: “If people are intimidated by Chief Merkel and our police, that’s really unfortunate”
Fritz: “Well they are … Someday off the clock we should chat.”
Hofman: “I think we should discuss people feeling intimidated by our police at the next council meeting because that is a real problem.”
Fritz: “It is. I don’t give two shits about their morale. They’ve demoralized citizens long enough.”
Hofman: “That’s really serious and we need to deal with this immediately then.”
Fritz: “And if LJD (Deputy Mayor Lynn Donnelly) doesn’t simmer down soon, I’m taking her to the woodshed … Along with DA (Councilor David Austin).”
Hofman: “If there is people that feel intimidated and/or demoralized, this is an imminent problem that needs to be dealt with immediately. (It’s) incumbent on the council to speak for citizens. We need to have an emergency meeting.”
Fritz: “I couldn’t do tonight. I also think it’s appropriate for a regular meeting.”
Hofman: “This needs to be addressed immediately.”
Fritz: “(Thumbs up emoji) Call me when you have a moment. (Gif of a smiling woman with the caption ‘Honey, you’ve got a big storm comin’’)”
Hofman: “Is that a threat?”
Fritz: (Gif of a laughing woman)
Hofman: “I’ll take that as a yes. Nice.”
Fritz: “Hardly. LJD has pissed a lot of people off.”
Hofman: “So that’s directed at Lynn and not me? Because that sure seemed like it was directed at me.”
Fritz: “Not at all.”
Hofman: “(I don’t think) we should be threatening anyone. Myself or Lynn. ‘Honey you have a big storm coming.’ That’s not cool.”
Fritz: “Oh heavens. Apologies. It’s been a rough day. I was trying to be humorous. Forgive me.”

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