Breach of Trust (Paperback)
"A masterful piece of work It is a story that ought not to be forgotten and I am very glad Dunn has been so diligent and determined to bring it to light"
--JEFFREY AMESTOY, former Attorney General and retired Chief Justice of the Vermont Supreme Court.
"Breach of Trust is an important book, because today so little is known about Judge Wheel and the lessons to be learned from her reign. An excellent contribution to Vermont judicial history, Well-written and entertaining, "Breach of Trust" is a must read for Vermont attorneys and those concerned about our system of justice."
--JAMES MORSE, retired Vermont Supreme Court Justice.
Voted the number one Vermont news story for 1987, Breach of Trust chronicles the ethics scandal that shook the roots of the Vermont judiciary in the mid-1980s. The scandal led to Chittenden County Assistant Judge Jane Wheel becoming the first and only Vermont judge ever charged with a criminal felony. It also led to unprecedented charges of ethical misconduct against three highly respected Vermont Supreme Court justices, making it the first time a justice was charged with a violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct.
Breach of Trust follows the political and legal struggles as Judge Wheel found herself being investigated for misusing public funds, an investigation she charged was "politically motivated," and likened to the "Salem Witch trials." Charged criminally, Judge Wheel, her attorneys and the attorney general face off in an epic, month-long criminal trial involving testimony from Supreme Court justices, judges, politicians and court employees. At the same time, the state's Judicial Conduct Board formerly charged Supreme Court Justices Hill, Hayes and Gibson with twenty-four violations of judicial ethics. All of the allegations of misconduct centered on the justices' close personal relationship with Judge Wheel, and actions they took to protect her during the investigation, culminating in an unprecedented three-week ethics trial before the Judicial Conduct Board.