Vermont, Department Of Corrections, Attorney discussed on The Dave Gram Show on WDEV
The Promo Radio Vermont. It's the Dave Graham show on. WD It's your show about the people places and the issues that matter the the most of you. Now here's your host Dave Graham Good Morning for Monte this Friday the thirteenth of December two thousand and nineteen. Hope Y'all have the best of luck today the end I hope we have some good luck on the program this morning. I think we are going to have a short show today. We're going to go live ten o'clock to CBS. News coverage from Washington didn't of resumption of deliberations in the House Judiciary Committee on the impeachment of President Donald Trump. But we do have our first our guests that we had scheduled already to go this morning. I do believe in will. We're going to have Paul Heights on from seven days giving us an update on his terrific recent coverage about the problems alums at the Chicken and regional correctional facility provides only women's prison alleged to be rife with sexual misconduct By some members of the staff half as well as substance abuse by few anyway and other problems there as well as Just not a lot of oversight in responsiveness when people bring Concerns and complaints to senior staff at the at the women's prison there in South Burlington will be bringing Paul in just a moment after I tell you about our second half hour. Very interesting story developed involving Vermont. Person this week Man named Stanley Sloan in nineteen sixty. One graduate of my high school. Local guy makes good. He goes off. It ends up being one of the world's leading experts on NATO and EU relations between the United States and and Europe and In between between the Western Alliance That NATO is and then so we union now Russia and Anyway Mr Sloan was scheduled to be a speaker at a conference in Denmark This past Tuesday. He's been somewhat critical of president trump on over issues related to NATO and how the president has handled his His his contacts contact with the other NATO nations leaders and the US ambassador to Denmark. Carl Sands Announced recently that Mr Sloane would not be speaking at this conference in Denmark he withdrew slash blocked his invitation there and that prompted the Danish organizers of the conference conference to cancel the entire event so this is apparently the trump administration not wanting to brook any criticism and ending ending with a cancellation of a of an event on the future of NATO scheduled to be have happened earlier this week in Denmark. Well Mr Sloane Stanley. Sloan is visiting scholar at Middlebury College based here in Vermont of course and he is going to be a guest of the Dave Ramsey show in the second half hour program of the program this morning. You know if you can't get get your views Out into a form over there in Copenhagen Denmark we still have free speech rights here in Vermont. And we're going to hear what Mr Sloan has to say in the ED. Second part of this Short show today. But the first part I wanted to vote to this unfolding still unfolding story Vermont. That was really launched last week by Paula Heights. So seven days and Paul Haines is my guest. Good Morning Paul. Hey Dave has it gone. I'm doing well. How are you so tell me a little bit about The coverage that you you are on our show last week talking about urine sort of introductory story on this topic of real problems at the what used to be known as the four CS I guess back. When the official name was the Chicken County Correctional Center or something like that and but is now known as the chicken and regional correctional facilities? The Vermont's only women's prison and it's rife with problems And you give us a brief recap of what you find what your initial reporting was and then unroll force a little bit. What's happened since then? Sure so as we discussed last week I was able to document Quite a number of really horrific allegations evolving Both Kelly but also a little bit more broadly other parts of the Department of Corrections Then and these range from alleged sexual assault within the facility inappropriate and illegal relationships between the SEC. Staffers inmate former inmates under the DNC supervision. Outside of the prison retaliation You know some pretty serious drug use by a shift supervisor at the prison so a lot. There's a lot right in there It was like a thousand word. Cover story In last week's paper as In that story I we. We posted a email address and phone number for people to contact us with With more information that they know about It's going to Department of Corrections and we've got just a ton of saw a ton of tips since then so wading through those and In this week's seven days I had a story that sort love looks at what Officials knew about these allegations prior to our reporting and we were able to get our hands on. Um I'm quite a number of documents that show That a series of prison superintendents were aware of many of these complaints over the years. That current Commissioner of corrections fractions was aware of some of them and then Most surprising of all I suppose is that The attorney general teach Donovan was also where some of with them And I WANNA be clear that not. All these people knew everything right but In Donovan's case he met with to corrections officers one current one former and I believe may of twenty seventeen and they were considering suing the state because they said that they faced pretty serious sexual harassment at shooting in regional and other parts of the corrections department. So they basically went to Donovan to lay out their allegations and You know I think they were trying to avoid having to file litigation But also they say what they really wanted was for somebody to clean out the proper of corrections they thought that by brains allegations directly to the Attorney General. He might talking about that. This is actually a really interesting case. I think of of a tough conundrum for any attorney general In which is as follows. They are a big part of their job is representing state agencies. They are the lawyer for the Department of Corrections for example and so In that puts that puts the general duty. Wise doesn't it. In sort of defensive posture relating to the Department of corrections totally totally totally. And that's what it says is You know my job was to deal with this threat of litigating And what I did was I you know I settle all the case quickly. I did it in a manner that didn't put the The guards in a in the position of having to publicly fight this court battle for years years He thought it was a pretty good solution. I think both for the state and for These guards You know they were expecting something more and I think you do do point out a challenge with this role of attorney general right there. One of their jobs is to defend the state to the states lawyer but the other one is to to sort of be the the You know chief advocate in a way for the people right chiefly. We will advocate for the people. And you see the same issue with the EP. Five case yes absolutely and a lot of people. A lot of people want Attorney General to hold the state accountable. for whatever. It did wrong wrong if anything you'd be five situation but really in that case. His job is to defend the agency's not getting so You know I think maybe the bigger the bigger question me though is Regardless of what his His duties are on paper If you know a top elected official in Vermont Learns that there. Is You know there are ongoing allegations of sexual harassment Within a estate agency Perhaps that person ought to do a little bit more than tell the case. Perhaps after selling the case that person Could look into the situation more are and try to address it and I I think there is some irony here Because as you know Attorney General Donovan has very very expansive view of his powers. Our Attorney General. Yes he he just touches every issue he possibly can. I don't WanNa let him off the hook at all. I don't mean to imply that I'm I'm wondering actually did he go to Did he go to Governor Phil Scott and say. Hey you're my client. I WanNa sit you down to talk to you about you. Have a huge kettle of of problems. You know on the boil up in South Burlington here and you better pay attention did he. Is there any indication he did that. There is no indication that talk to who anybody about this and I you know I only know what he has told me But I gave him and his office A couple of opportunities to respond to this provide more information. Yeah about his response And they basically only pointed to his decision to settle this case so it does not appear that he went to anybody or did anything think to correct this problem. That's weird. I mean I if I were him I just I mean if in part to kind of cover himself into a little advance band aid on his own political future or whatever because this stuff is GonNa come out someday folks so when you see when you see problems like this and you are in senior level of government you you you don't just You know just is hope it goes away right well and I think that might be kind of a theme throughout this reporting You know a lot of the stuff. I know that. These allegations are surprised to too many people in Vermont but to those who are working in the system. They're really not. I mean the the number of people have talked to over the last week or so with the Mike Dunn. No kidding this is happening right like I didn't really know but we all sort of new right because You know April mccollum from the Burlington free press A really great story a year ago. about the plight of one of these cards. Could I described here. Pretty Sweet April first person as far as I know who reported on The allegations she made against the Department of Corrections. I read that story year ago. I didn't do anything about it. You probably wear that story. I don't know anything about it you know. We've all had some indications stations along the way you know we all bear some responsibility. I you are. You're correct. You're correct about that. Of course then we have our elected officials who are The reason we put him there has to pick up the responsibility that we all bear and And if they're not doing that or if they're not doing that very effectively then that certainly worth pointing out and that's what That's journalists journalism is four folks and You know again my hats are my hat off to you. Paul for for really taken this Sir all down the field the long way here and And continuing to push over the past ten days you you have not rested on your laurels. Tell us a little bit about the unfolding the developments that you've had sort of new revelations since your initial story. Yeah well you know Terry Smith a show yesterday Sort of the thing that I'm watching most closely right now is this. He has pledged sector. Smith has pledged to engage some sort of third party investigator to really take a more thorough. Look at what happened here. And Smith wants it to be somebody outside of state government meant. He's he's said in recent days he prefer it to be the federal government. the US Attorney the district of Vermont So we may have some news on that later today potentially I'm curious to see where that goes. let me stop you there for a second but it could be. That's so important. And you're right Mike Smith the secretary the Human Services Whose Agency of course includes the Department of corrections was on the day..