Rutland police officer cleared of criminal conduct
By Brent Curtis
STAFF WRITER | March 15,2013
A Rutland police officer placed on administrative leave in December will not face criminal charges, according to the Vermont attorney general’s office.
Thomas Fuller, a 26-year veteran of the force was placed on paid administrative leave following what Rutland Police Chief James Baker called an “altercation” at Rutland Regional Medical Center on Dec. 1.
The altercation has never been described in detail and Baker again declined Thursday to say what type of conduct Fuller reportedly engaged in.
Hospital officials have said the incident did not involve a patient or staff member at RRMC. Fuller was on duty when the incident took place.
Assistant Attorney General Cindy Maguire, who is head of the office’s criminal division, said this week that after a two-month investigation by police and prosecutors, the decision was made not to pursue criminal charges.
“There exists insufficient evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt,” Maguire said. “Based on what witnesses to the event had to say, the incident did not rise to the level of criminal conduct.”
While Fuller has been cleared of any criminal wrongdoing, Baker said he has not returned to work and will remain on paid administrative leave until an internal investigation is completed.
“We made Officer Fuller and his attorney aware that the attorney general had declined to prosecute the case,” the chief said Thursday night.
“We’re going to finish our internal report before making a decision about his status,” Baker said. “It should be completed in the next couple weeks.”
Fuller’s attorney, Middlebury lawyer Peter Langrock, has said in the past he believed the officer would be cleared of any wrongdoing and at one point described the incident as a “misunderstanding.”
Neither Langrock nor Fuller could be reached for comment Thursday.
Fuller is one of two city police officers who became the subject of criminal investigations last year.
In October, the department placed Officer Joseph Warfle, a 20-year veteran of the force, on paid administrative leave and a criminal investigation was started by Vermont State Police, which investigated issues surrounding workers’ compensation he had claimed.
Police have finished that investigation, but Maguire said prosecutors are still reviewing the case and have not decided whether a criminal charge is warranted.