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Rutland County deputy prosecutor challenges her boss - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Rutland County deputy prosecutor challenges her boss

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RUTLAND, Vt. -

"The bottom line is the state's attorney needs to win big cases," Rosemary Kennedy said.

Kennedy says when it comes to prosecuting criminals in Rutland County, winning is the only option. Kennedy announced her candidacy for Rutland County state's attorney at Rutland City Hall Friday, in front of an audience of dozens including Rutland city and law enforcement leaders. The deputy state's attorney is taking on current State's Attorney Mark Brierre.

"I know I need to lock up violent criminals and those who bring drugs into our community," said Kennedy, a Democrat.

Her philosophies on attacking Rutland's drug problem, including compassion for nonviolent offenders fall right in line with Police Chief Jim Baker who looked on at the announcement, but did not want to comment.

"For those who are addicted and commit low-level crimes, I also know that I need to take a broader approach," Kennedy said.

Kennedy devoted a large portion of her speech to her focus on law enforcement.

"Police officers deserve to know that we have their back," she said.

Many were shocked by a recent verdict in the case against homeless woman Jennifer Berube. She was found not guilty of attempted murder after she was captured on video approaching Officer Damon Nguyen with a 2-inch blade.

City leaders say it's time for a change at the state's attorney's office.

"She is a very strong skilled woman who has the tools and the resources to hold criminals accountable," Rutland City Mayor Christopher Louras said.

With her eight years of experience as a prosecutor-- including her current position as deputy state's attorney and former job prosecuting child abuse and sexual assault cases in Chittenden County-- Kennedy says she has a resume that prepares her for taking on Rutland County's cases, and the present ties to the community to know what they need.

"I care very deeply for Rutland County," she said. "It's my home; it's where I raise my kids."

Current Rutland County State's Attorney Marc Brierre, a Republican, declined our request for an on camera interview. Regarding Kennedy's announcement, he said "That's her right."

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