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Police Probe Flanagan Charges


Published August 18, 2009 at 5:47 p.m.

State Sen. Ed Flanagan is under criminal investigation for allegedly masturbating in front of patrons in the Men’s Wellness Center at the Greater Burlington YMCA.

“Fair Game” first reported the incident last month, when YMCA member Tiki Archambeau filed a complaint about Flanagan with Y officials. “Fair Game” also talked to other patrons who had witnessed bizarre behavior on Flanagan’s part. The former state auditor has denied the charges, but apologized for anything he did while naked that may have been misconstrued by others.

A formal complaint about Flanagan’s behavior was filed last Friday with Burlington police.

Contacted by Seven Days, Archambeau said he had spoken to an investigator from the Chittenden Unit for Special Investigation on Tuesday afternoon. He declined to elaborate on the nature of the CUSI investigation.

Flanagan’s membership was suspended during the Y’s investigation. Flanagan said he plans to find another gym and never return to the Y. Numerous calls to the senator about the criminal probe were not returned by late this afternoon.

The YMCA has declined to say publicly whether it has completed its investigation — nor will it share any details when the inquiry is over. According to one former employee, some YMCA officials had been made aware of Flanagan's behavior.

A formal police probe has the potential to be more illuminating. It could reveal whether Flanagan’s behavior is connected to the traumatic brain injury he suffered in 2005 — an injury that some observers fear may be affecting his judgment.

But a criminal investigation is not likely to help Flanagan’s chances of winning higher office, let alone reelection.