Governor backs review of Guard by Legislature
By: Mark Johnson for VTDigger, December 20, 2018
WARREN — Gov. Phil Scott expressed support Thursday for the Legislature to investigate the Vermont National Guard and said he wanted policy changes, including more information being released if a Guard member resigns while under investigation.
Scott said his own investigation or an outside review, an idea he rejected last week, would be redundant. He also reiterated that he believed Guard leaders had now disclosed all internal problems. If more information comes out, Scott said, he would review his decision whether an independent review was needed.
Scott said he was confident Guard leaders properly followed disciplinary procedures, but said he wanted some policies changed so the public would know more. For example, the series featured a chaplain who resigned with full benefits before a Guard case he was involved in was resolved. Scott said in future cases like that, the nature of the allegation under investigation should be made part of the record.
“Should there be changes to the procedures, possibly. Should there be more transparency, absolutely. I think there are many areas where we can do better and they should do better. But I’m not sure we’re going to find anything new that isn’t already out there,” Scott said in comments after a press conference at Sugarbush on tourism.
Scott said it was “appropriate” for lawmakers to bring in Guard officials, and if afterward they believe more should occur, “I would support them in their effort to do so.”