Vekos gets law license back

MONTPELIER — The Vermont Supreme Court has reinstated the law license of Addison County’s top prosecutor roughly three weeks after suspending it for her failure to cooperate with an investigation about her paid leave that followed a drunken driving charge.

The high court issued the ruling in favor of Addison County State’s Attorney Eva Vekos on Friday, April 19. Earlier this month, her attorney, David Sleigh, had argued to the court that Vekos’s suspension should be lifted because she had come into compliance with that investigation, which was headed by the prosecutor for the state panel overseeing Vermont lawyers.

“We grant (Vekos’s) motion given her recent cooperation,” reads this past Friday’s decision, which was signed by all five justices.

Sleigh, in an interview, said he appreciated the court’s decision.

“We’re happy to move forward,” he said.

Jon Alexander, the disciplinary counsel with the Professional Responsibility Board, had initially sought the suspension of Vekos’s law license in February for failure to cooperate with his investigation into her three-week paid medical leave following her drunken driving arrest in January.

Alexander, according to his own filing last week, did not object to lifting the suspension that had been ordered by the high court in late March.

Since the court suspended Vekos’s law license, Alexander wrote, “She has responded, with apparent candor, to all Disciplinary Counsel’s previously ignored inquiries about the reasons, nature and causes of her now-concluded medical leave.”

Specifically, Alexander wrote, Vekos has provided him with “satisfactory and confidential” responses related to the medical condition prompting her leave, any potential effects of the condition, her work performance, and the names of health care providers whom she had consulted.

“Because of (Vekos’s) new-found willingness to respond to Disciplinary Counsel’s inquiries about her medical leave and other matters,” Alexander wrote, “the conditions and dangers that caused this court to suspend respondent from practice are not currently present.”

Vekos was arrested on the night of Jan. 25 on a drunken driving charge after she allegedly drove impaired to the scene of a suspicious death investigation in Bridport.

According to charging documents, Vekos refused to perform field sobriety tests when requested to do so by a Vermont State Police trooper or to take a breath test.

In the days after her arrest, Vekos engaged in an email exchange with law enforcement leaders in Addison County, in which she said she no longer felt safe around police and disparaged their intelligence and grammatical skills.

Vekos has pleaded not guilty to the DUI charge, which is currently pending.

Vekos continued to serve as Addison County state’s attorney, an elected position, while her license was suspended. She was limited to mainly administrative tasks without the ability to practice law.

She has resisted calls from a majority of the legislative delegation from Addison County calling on Vekos to resign following the suspension. In the first week of April, they issued a press release citing what they called her “unprofessional conduct” and “offensive comments about local law enforcement.”

Vekos was elected to her first four-year term in the post in November 2022.

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