This article by Jim Therrien originally appeared May 17 in the Bennington Banner.
BENNINGTON — State Rep. Chris Bates, D-Bennington, issued a statement Friday in reaction to the release of information “involving certain indiscretions in my past, dating back, in some instances, 40 years.”
Bates, who was elected in November to a Bennington 2-1 House seat, said criminal charges he faced in Illinois involved incidents during his late teens and 20s and “altercations that led to misdemeanor charges of assault.”
Approximately 10 to 15 years ago, he said, “I accepted responsibility for and admitted to DUI charges arising from my prior struggles with alcohol use.”
The freshman lawmaker said he released the written statement after learning that “certain persons, in order, it seems, to advance their own personal interests, have published highly personal information about me .”
He and other local lawmakers said they had heard rumors about Bates having faced criminal charges, including that he might soon be arrested and extradited to Illinois because of some unresolved legal issues. Bates denied Friday that he faced arrest or extradition.
Bates, who is being advised by attorney Allan Sullivan, of Dorset, declined to name those he believes are spreading the information about his past record. But at least one person — Kevin Hoyt, who ran against Bates as a Republican in the November election — posted comments about the lawmaker Friday on his Facebook page.
Hoyt said in part: “I hope the public is as upset as I am. WE JUST ELECTED A FUGATIVE (sic) into the Vt State house!!! First time in history and it had to be liberal Vermont. WRITE LETTERS, ASK QUESTIONS, DEMAND accountability or it will only get worse.”
Read full article at the Bennington Banner.
(Fair use with written permission from the New England Newspapers Inc.)