Q&A: Candidates for Attorney General | Election Voter Guide | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Q&A: Candidates for Attorney General

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Published September 27, 2022 at 10:00 a.m.


Charity Clark and Michael Tagliavia - COURTESY
  • Courtesy
  • Charity Clark and Michael Tagliavia

The attorney general is Vermont's lawyer and represents the state in civil and criminal proceedings. The Attorney General's Office handles a wide variety of cases, including criminal offenses, civil rights violations, consumer protection and environmental matters. Democrat T.J. Donovan stepped down from this job over the summer. When the current interim AG, Susanne R. Young, was appointed to succeed him, she became the first woman to hold the job. Two candidates are vying to succeed her. Here are their answers to our candidate questionnaire.

Charity Clark

Age: 47
Town of residence: Williston
Occupation: Attorney and former chief of staff of the Vermont Attorney General's Office
Party affiliation: Democrat
Website: CharityForVermont.com

As Attorney General, how would you:

Improve public safety?

All Vermonters deserve to feel safe and be safe in their communities. As attorney general, I will advocate for policies that protect Vermonters, including gun safety and data privacy. I will work to hold individuals and systems accountable, while also investing in a justice system that reflects Vermont's values.

Ensure accountability of law enforcement officials?

Police have a duty to protect our communities and should be held accountable for any wrongdoings or undue harm. I will provide legal support to the legislature as they review laws affecting police accountability. I will continue the attorney general's practice of reviewing officer-involved use-of-force cases.

Protect Vermonters' civil rights?

I will provide strong leadership to the Civil Rights Division, which enforces laws related to employment discrimination and civil remedies in connection with hate crimes. I'll also use the deep expertise of the Attorney General's Office in constitutional law to provide education and support to the legislature on matters of civil rights.

Michael Tagliavia

Age: 59
Town of residence: Corinth
Occupation: Retired
Party affiliation: Republican
Website: None

As Attorney General, how would you:

Improve public safety?

Do not remove qualified immunity from law enforcement. Give law enforcement funding and training necessary to keep our towns and cities safe. Reopen Windsor detention facility with emphasis on substance abuse abatement and vocational training. Expand L.E.A.D. program in schools to educate youth about the dangers of drug abuse.

Ensure accountability of law enforcement officials?

All law enforcement officers swear an oath upon hiring and are currently subject to ethics rules, as well as being held accountable by the same laws as all Vermonters. When necessary, officers who are found in violation should be held accountable for their actions, including criminally, when circumstances dictate.

Protect Vermonters' civil rights?

All people are created equal, both under God and the law, and they need to be treated as such. This includes the unborn.