By: Paul Heinz for SevenDays, December 6, 2018
Gov. Phil Scott on Thursday brushed off allegations that the Vermont National Guard is plagued by a culture of sexual impropriety and alcohol abuse, referring to recently reported incidents as the actions of “an occasional bad apple.”
During a press conference at the Guard’s Colchester headquarters, Scott expressed full support for the organization and its leader, Maj. Gen. Steven Cray. Though the governor admitted that reporting by VTDigger.org had brought new allegations to light, he said he saw “no reason to go through an independent review.”
“I want to be very clear,” Scott said, as Cray stood behind him. “My faith and confidence in the women and men of the Vermont National Guard is unwavering.”
The two men, joined by dozens of Guard members, spent roughly 45 minutes addressing allegations raised in a seven-part series VTDigger published last week . The stories described a hard-partying, misogynistic organization that failed to address alleged sexual misconduct and retaliated against a whistleblower.