Burlington | Off Message | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice


Thursday, April 18, 2019

Governor's Staff Emails: Burlington Mayor's Autopsy Request 'Does Not Feel Right'

Posted By on Thu, Apr 18, 2019 at 3:36 PM

Mayor Miro Weinberger - KATIE JICKLING
  • Katie Jickling
  • Mayor Miro Weinberger
Top state officials were alarmed by Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger's last-minute request that the governor intervene to delay the release of autopsy findings linking a man's death to an altercation with a city cop.

Weinberger's chief of staff, Jordan Redell, texted, called and emailed the governor's office on the morning of April 10, just as Vermont State Police were preparing to announce that the state medical examiner classified Doug Kilburn's death as a homicide, the emails state.

"She was energetically reaching out trying to have us intervene to pause the release," Jason Gibbs, chief of staff for Gov. Phil Scott, wrote later that day to the heads of the Department of Public Safety and the Vermont State Police.

"That does not feel right to me, at any level," he wrote in another internal email.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Burlington Officials Sought to Change 'Homicide' Finding in Police Case

Posted By on Wed, Apr 17, 2019 at 8:52 PM

Dr. Steven Shapiro, Vermont's chief medical examiner - FILE/MATTHEW THORSEN
  • File/Matthew Thorsen
  • Dr. Steven Shapiro, Vermont's chief medical examiner
Burlington city officials sought to influence how the state's chief medical examiner classified a Burlington man's death after learning that the autopsy would link it to punches thrown by a city cop.

State police announced last week that the medical examiner had deemed Douglas Kilburn's death a homicide. Earlier that morning, Burlington Police Chief Brandon del Pozo had contacted the state's top health official with "concerns" about the quality of the medical examiner's work and suggested that his conclusion might be "amended," emails obtained through Vermont's public records law show.

"I have conferred with the mayor and we are in agreement in requesting clarification of these findings before they are made public," del Pozo wrote to Vermont Health Commissioner Mark Levine.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Monday, April 15, 2019

Weinberger: Migrants Welcome in Burlington if Trump Carries Out Plan

Posted By on Mon, Apr 15, 2019 at 7:37 PM

Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger speaking Monday - COURTNEY LAMDIN
  • Courtney Lamdin
  • Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger speaking Monday
Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger said the city would welcome migrants apprehended at the southern border if President Donald Trump makes good on his plan to send them to sanctuary cities.

Weinberger first announced his position Saturday afternoon following the president’s tweet Friday that he is "giving strong considerations to placing Illegal Immigrants in Sanctuary Cities," or municipalities that limit cooperation with federal immigration authorities.

Weinberger has vowed to buck the Trump administration's immigration policies before, and on Monday, the mayor called the president's latest proposal “un-American.”

“Here in Burlington, we do not buy into, we do not support [Trump’s] very dark vision of immigrants that are attempting to come to this country to seek asylum,” Weinberger said at an afternoon news conference.

He said immigrants are often “fleeing very difficult situations” and have enriched Burlington’s community.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Man's Death Following Fight With Burlington Cop Ruled Homicide

Posted By on Wed, Apr 10, 2019 at 2:59 PM

Burlington police officer Cory Campbell - BURLINGTON POLICE DEPARTMENT
  • Burlington Police Department
  • Burlington police officer Cory Campbell
Updated at 4:48 p.m.

The March death of a 54-year-old man who'd been in a fistfight with a Burlington cop was a homicide, officials said Wednesday.

Vermont State Police are still investigating the encounter between Douglas Kilburn and Burlington police officer Cory Campbell, but a death certificate released Wednesday lists "skull fractures due to blunt impact" as a contributor to Kilburn's death.

Details about the March 11 altercation are limited to what various police groups have asserted in press releases and a description Burlington Police Chief Brandon del Pozo gave at a Wednesday press conference.

According to state police, Kilburn assaulted Campbell in the parking lot outside of the University of Vermont Medical Center "before the officer was able to gain control of the suspect." Kilburn was treated at UVM Medical Center for injuries and released on March 12.

He was found dead at his New North End apartment two days later.

While the death was classified as a homicide, Vermont Chief Medical Examiner Steven Shapiro was unable to determine how, precisely, Kilburn died. He instead listed multiple "contributing causes" including cardiac disease, diabetes, obesity and the skull fractures.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , ,

Monday, April 8, 2019

Trey Pecor Made Millions on Burlington Telecom. Now He's Giving Back

Posted By on Mon, Apr 8, 2019 at 6:28 PM

Miro Weinberger, Peter Clavelle, Dominique Pecor and Brenda Torpy - KATIE JICKLING
  • Katie Jickling
  • Miro Weinberger, Peter Clavelle, Dominique Pecor and Brenda Torpy
In the weeks since earning more than $5 million on the sale of Burlington Telecom, businessman Trey Pecor has given $1 million to city projects.

Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger and others acknowledged that they've prodded Pecor to spread the wealth.

"Certainly, his capacity for philanthropy has gone up as a result of Burlington Telecom," Weinberger said. "I, as well as others, have encouraged him to be as generous as he can."

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Monday, April 1, 2019

Weinberger Prioritizes Climate Change, Housing in State of the City

Posted By on Mon, Apr 1, 2019 at 11:10 PM

Mayor MIro Weinberger swearing in newly elected city councilors - KATIE JICKLING
  • Katie Jickling
  • Mayor MIro Weinberger swearing in newly elected city councilors
During his State of the City speech Monday, Mayor Miro Weinberger appeared to extend an olive branch to the Progressive Party by outlining a left-leaning agenda addressing climate change and the local housing crunch.

Those were both priorities espoused on the campaign trail by Perri Freeman (P-Central District) and Jack Hanson (P-East District), the two young political novices who ousted incumbents Jane Knodell and Richard Deane on Town Meeting Day.

With one fewer member of his own party on the council, Weinberger, a Democrat, also emphasized collaboration in city government during the annual address at City Hall.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Friday, March 29, 2019

Burlington City Council Upholds City Hall Park Vote

Posted By on Fri, Mar 29, 2019 at 3:24 PM

Wayne Senville - KATIE JICKLING
  • Katie Jickling
  • Wayne Senville
At a special meeting Friday afternoon, the Burlington City Council stood by its previous decision to fund renovations for City Hall Park — and members took the opportunity to rigorously defend their decision-making authority as elected officials.

In response to a complaint filed Tuesday by Burlington resident Wayne Senville, councilors voted 10-1 that they did not violate the state's open meeting law. Councilor Max Tracy (P-Ward 2) cast the sole opposing vote, while Councilor Brian Pine (P-Ward 3) did not attend.

On Monday, the council voted to approve the funding for the $5.8 million project, the final step in moving forward with the downtown park renovation — or so they thought. Senville sent a complaint to the City Attorney's Office the next day, saying that the city had filed supplementary meeting documents too late to allow citizens to comment on them.

"It was clearly insufficient to provide even a cursory review of these documents," Senville told the council at Friday's meeting, which had been called to address his complaint. "Members of the public were unable to comment in a meaningful way."

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Harassing Emails to City Councilor Are Protected Speech, Judge Rules

Posted By on Fri, Mar 29, 2019 at 3:01 PM

Christopher Hayden at Vermont Superior Court in Burlington - GLENN RUSSELL
  • Glenn Russell
  • Christopher Hayden at Vermont Superior Court in Burlington
Updated at 5:42 p.m.

Chittenden Superior Court Judge Kevin Griffin this week threw out a hate crime charge against Christopher Hayden, writing that harassing a public official is protected by the First Amendment.

Griffin dismissed a count of disturbing the peace by phone that stemmed from numerous racist messages Hayden sent to City Councilor Ali Dieng's government email address. 

The state has filed seven charges against Hayden since October, including hate crimes for his targeting of Dieng, Mayor Miro Weinberger and Police Chief Brandon del Pozo.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Resident Alleges Burlington City Council Violated Open Meeting Law

Posted By on Thu, Mar 28, 2019 at 4:49 PM

Burlington City Council - FILE: KATIE JICKLING
  • File: Katie Jickling
  • Burlington City Council
A Queen City resident is asking that the Burlington City Council vote again on the renovation of City Hall Park, contending that the council violated the state's open meeting law when it approved the project on Monday.

Wayne Senville, who has publicly voiced opposition to the park project, filed a complaint with the city attorney's office on Tuesday, saying that documents related to the project weren't available in time for members of the public to read and respond to them.

Under state law, the city has 10 days to respond to the complaint, according to City Council President Kurt Wright (R-Ward 4), so the council will hold a special meeting on Friday at 1 p.m. to vote on whether a violation occurred.

If councilors decide they did violate the law, they'd have to revote on appropriating money for the City Hall Park project. If the council rejects the complaint by voting that it followed proper procedure, Senville can file a suit in court.

City attorneys are sure that the city did not violate open meeting law and Monday's decision should stand, according to Wright. “We believe, according to our legal advice, we’re on very, very solid ground," he said. "We feel pretty strongly this is a frivolous complaint."

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , ,

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Burlington City Council Approves Funding for City Hall Park Renovation

Posted By on Tue, Mar 26, 2019 at 12:58 AM

CIty Hall Park design - SUISMAN URBAN DESIGN
  • Suisman Urban Design
  • CIty Hall Park design
The Burlington City Council voted resoundingly on Monday night to use millions of dollars to renovate City Hall Park, a decision that paves the way for the controversial project to begin this spring.

Ahead of the 10-2 vote, dozens of people who oppose the park renovation turned out to try to convince councilors to vote down the $5.8 million in financing. The opponents, part of a group called Keep the Park Green, say the renovation will result in the removal of healthy trees and is too expensive.

The renovation will, in fact, cost more than previously expected. The lowest bid came in at $4.9 million, significantly higher than the initial estimate of $4 million. Mayor Miro Weinberger attributed the higher price tag to increased cost for soil remediation and the plan to protect existing trees during construction. He also blamed the opposition group and delays in the process for causing the cost to spike.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Recent Comments

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative

All content © 2019 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401
Website powered by Foundation