UVM Police Chief Takes New Post After Four-Month Absence | Off Message

UVM Police Chief Takes New Post After Four-Month Absence


Former UVM police chief Lianne Tuomey - UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT
  • University of Vermont
  • Former UVM police chief Lianne Tuomey
University of Vermont police chief Lianne Tuomey returned in November from more than four months on paid personal leave, only to quietly retire and take a new campus job, the university said Tuesday.

Tuomey may not stay in her new post as "senior advisor for safety and security" for long. On December 2, the City of Glenwood Springs named her one of four finalists for a police chief position in the Colorado resort community of 10,000.

Tuomey visited the town earlier this month for a candidate "meet and greet," according to the Post Independent, which ran a photo of her chatting with locals at a Glenwood Springs community center.

The deadline to apply for the job was October 19, according to an online job listing.

Tuomey's leave at UVM began July 11. Officials did not announce it publicly, then declined to provide a reason for her absence, citing university policy. A spokesperson told Seven Days at the time that Tuomey had not been barred from campus.
In an October phone call, Tuomey told the Vermont Cynic student newspaper that she was "dealing with some personal stuff."

"When asked when she will return to UVM, Tuomey hung up the phone with no response," the paper reported.

Tuomey did not immediately respond on Tuesday to emails or calls for comment. Deputy Police Chief Tim Bilodeau has been serving as UVM's interim chief.

UVM communications director Enrique Corredera told Seven Days by email that Tuomey's leave of absence was personal in nature. "This was not an administrative leave that would have prompted an investigation," he wrote.

Tuomey returned November 16 and retired as police chief. But UVM offered her a job working on "a number of projects and initiatives intended to improve safety and security" under vice president for operations and public safety Gary Derr. Her salary is $126,618, Corredera said, slightly more than she made last year as chief. 

Tuomey joined the department in 2000; she became police chief in 2009.

On November 22, the university learned she was considering other positions. UVM told Glenwood Springs' search firm that Tuomey was an employee in good standing, according to city public information officer Sarah Derrigan.

Tuomey's leave began a few weeks before former Burlington police chief Brandon del Pozo took a mysterious six-week medical leave. Del Pozo's absence stemmed from his use of an anonymous Twitter account to troll a critic and subsequent lie about it to a Seven Days reporter. He resigned on Monday.

Del Pozo's first replacement, Deputy Chief Jan Wright, was replaced after mere hours as acting chief once she disclosed to city officials that she, too, was using an imposter social media account to respond to police critics.

Corredera said Tuomey's absence was unrelated to social media use.