Springfield makes overtures to KainenBy Susan Smallheer
Staff Writer | March 29,2013SPRINGFIELD — Windsor County State’s Attorney Michael Kainen had only been on the job a day, but members of the Springfield Select Board wanted to bend his ear.
The board agreed Monday to invite Kainen to come discuss his prosecutorial priorities, “at his earliest convenience.”
Chairman Kristi Morris told fellow board members that Kainen, who was appointed by Gov. Peter Shumlin earlier this month to the post being vacated by longtime Windsor County State’s Attorney Robert Sand, had already emailed him earlier in the day Monday.
“That was encouraging,” he said.
Morris said that Kainen, a former Republican state representative from Hartford who has changed to the Democratic Party, told him that he appointed David Cahill his chief deputy state’s attorney.
Cahill had also wanted the state’s attorney’s job, but Shumlin chose Kainen, who until last Friday was a deputy state’s attorney in Orange County. Kainen, a graduate of Vermont Law School, was a four-term state representative and the former executive director of the state’s Sentencing Commission. He also teaches legal issues at Community College of Vermont.
Springfield Town Manager Robert Forguites said the Springfield police had been informally supporting Cahill and were concerned about Kainen’s stand on law enforcement issues.
“Cahill has always been responsive to them, and of the two, they would have preferred he was appointed,” said Forguites.
“The town just wants to get a relationship going and it’s a good thing to get a good relationship started on the right foot,” the manager said.
Springfield, stung by a downtown shooting last summer that brought focus on the town’s drug problem, has been working on several fronts to improve law enforcement in town.
Forguites said he had met with Cahill earlier this winter about the town’s concerns about law enforcement even before Sand announced he was stepping down to take a job with the Shumlin administration in devising a new approach to prosecuting drunken drivers.
Kainen didn’t return a phone call Wednesday,
Select Board member Michael Knoras said it was important to meet with Kainen face to face, “at his earliest convenience” to express the town’s concerns. If necessary, Knoras said, the board would set up a special meeting since Kainen would be very busy in his first weeks on the job.
Forguites said he would contact Kainen and give him a choice of meeting dates in April and May.
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