Vt. Democrats accuse governor of power grab with AG appointment

Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 5:43 PM EDT
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - The Vermont Democratic Party is accusing Gov. Phil Scott of engaging in a power grab.

Wednesday, Scott appointed his former administration secretary Susanne Young as attorney general, to serve out the remainder of T.J. Donovan’s term in office.

Deputy Attorney General Josh Diamond was on deck to fill in the role, but Scott appointed Young instead.

Democrats say that’s breaking with tradition.

Vermont Democratic Party Chair Anne Lezak says the governor is choosing a member of his Republican administration to fill the vacancy instead of replacing the Democrat Donovan with another Democrat.

She says Scott is not keeping with tradition and his own previous practice of appointing members of the same party to fill vacancies.

In response, the governor’s office made a couple of points. One is that Young is not a partisan appointment. She’s worked in state government for 40 years in appointed positions under both Republicans and Democrats.

They also note this is a temporary appointment until a new AG is elected in November. Young has said she is not running and will step down when a new attorney general is sworn in in January.

As for the break with tradition by not choosing someone recommended by the Democrats, the governor’s spokesman says the move is not unprecedented. In 1997, then-governor Howard Dean appointed fellow Democrat Bill Sorrell as attorney general to replace Republican Jeffrey Amestoy.

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Governor appoints Susanne Young as Vermont attorney general

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