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Charged Essex Officer to Remain On Duty

Posted on May 19, 2009 - 12:55 PM
Burlington Free Press
May 12, 2009


UPDATE: Charged Essex officer to remain on duty

Free Press Staff Report

ESSEX -- An Essex police officer who was charged today with animal cruelty will remain on duty, at least for now, the department said in a brief statement this afternoon.

Officer Michael J. Wootton, 34, of Waterville is accused of shooting and killing his neighbor's dog after it tangled with his pug April 30. The Vermont State Police, which investigated the case, announced the charges today.

Wootton is scheduled to appear for an arraignment May 26 in Vermont District Court in Hyde Park, state-police investigators said in a news release issued today.

Essex police said Wootton, who had remained on the job pending an internal investigation, has seen no change in his employment status despite today's developments.

"The department continues to review the incident administratively," read a statement in an e-mail news release sent by Chief Leo Nadeau. "At this time, Corporal Wootton has not been placed on administrative leave and we cannot comment further due to the ongoing administrative investigation."

Police say Wootton's pug went to a neighbor’s property on Phyllis Lane in Waterville and became involved in a fight with a mixed-breed dog belonging to Melinda Maskell, 28. Wootton returned home, obtained a handgun and fired one shot into the dog, according to a state police.


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