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Ex-Sheriff Complains of Candidate’s Ad

October 27, 2006

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) _ A former sheriff who pleaded guilty to embezzling thousands of dollars but later had the offense expunged from her record now wants it expunged from a political candidate’s TV commercials, too.

But the candidate says the sheriff can’t rewrite history.

Sheila Prue, who resigned as Windham County Sheriff last June and pleaded guilty to felony embezzlement and two misdemeanors, is upset because a campaign ad for state Auditor Randy Brock shows newspaper clippings and Prue’s photograph to bolster his claim that he has helped expose fraud and waste while in office.

Prue’s attorney, Bettina Buehler, said Friday that if a private citizen used the newspaper clippings, it wouldn’t be an issue. But Brock is a state official and subject to a law that requires officials to delete all references to Prue’s conviction, which was expunged from the public record in August after she met requirements imposed by the state, Buehler said.

``If you look at the court order, as of August 25, 2006, my client never had an embezzlement charge,″ Buehler said.

Brock said he would keep using the ad: ``I stand by the ad. It was true and accurate in every detail.″

Prue was charged after an audit by Brock’s office found the sheriff had charged her department for airfare and meals for her domestic partner and child, as well as for groceries, pet supplies, clothing, exercise equipment, household goods, a banjo and other personal items.

As part of a plea bargain, Prue agreed to repay $36,000 and was required to perform 80 hours of community service. Shortly after she entered the pleas, Prue received an anonymous check to help repay the money.

On Aug. 25, a judge ruled that Prue had completed the requirements to have the felony conviction erased from the books, Buehler said.


On the Net:

Randy Brock campaign: http://www.randybrock.com

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