Hinesburg Selectboard votes to continue paid administrative leave to officer

Following an executive, or private session, the Hinesburg Selectboard voted unanimously Nov. 7 to extend paid, administrative leave to a Hinesburg police officer facing a federal lawsuit.

Officer Cameron Coltharp was placed on paid, administrative leave this summer after Community Police Chief Frank Koss became concerned about media coverage of an alleged excessive force complaint.

Coltharp and fellow Hinesburg Community Police Officer Jeremy Hulshof are defendants in a federal lawsuit filed by local resident Lori Ann Carron.

Town Administrator Trevor Lashua wrote last month regarding paid, administrative leave for town employees that the issue is handled by local officials. “The Town Administrator can place an employee on paid, administrative leave for a maximum of 30 work days,” Lashua wrote. “The Selectboard can then approve an extension, if requested. No total cap in the current personnel policy.”

On Oct. 3, the board vote to grant Coltharp an extension of his paid, administrative leave “not to extend beyond Nov. 7,” according to board members. The votes to extend Coltharp’s leave came after discussions in executive session. The Board didn’t publically explain last week why it granted the extension.

The Board entered into the private session in October regarding the matter after receiving legal advice from attorney Nancy Sheahan, a principal with the Burlington law firm, McNeil Leddy & Sheahan.

A discussion on the status of Coltharp’s leave came up during the Selectboard’s Sept. 12 meeting.