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Vershire Man Sues Sheriff’s Dept.

Suit Claims Arrest Was a Conspiracy

A Vershire man with a lengthy criminal history has sued the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, alleging that a sheriff’s deputy conspired to plant a gun in his home and then arrest him for illegal gun possession so he would be sent back to prison.

In a lawsuit filed recently in Orange Superior Court, Dominick Bailey says that former sheriff’s Deputy Jude Bishop hatched the plan with several other local residents in March 2010 to get rid of Bailey, a well-known local criminal who was on federal probation at the time.

One of the witnesses to the alleged plan said that Bishop’s message was; “If you don’t like Dominick and want to see him gone — if there was a gun at his place, it would be all over,” according to the lawsuit.

On March 10, Bishop applied for and obtained a search warrant for Bailey’s home on Parker Road in Vershire. In the application for the warrant, Bishop wrote that Thomas Cady Jr., had visited Bailey’s home, where Bailey asked him if he knew anyone who wanted to buy a .32 caliber revolver. Cady said he declined to buy the gun, and saw Bailey wrap it up in a rag and put it under his front stairs.

It was all made up, Bailey alleges in his lawsuit — Cady planted the gun.

“Based on my training and experience with Mr. Bailey I feel I need to move quickly before Mr. Bailey moves or disposes of the firearm,” Bishop wrote in his successful application for a warrant. Cady supplied a written statement to the court and drew a map of Bailey’s home , showing the location of the gun.

That same day, Bishop visited Bailey’s home, looked under the stairs, and found the revolver, the only item for which he had permission to search. However, Bishop continued to search the house, causing damage to the home, according to the lawsuit.

Bishop arrested Bailey, took him to a holding cell and called Bailey’s probation officer, Dan Mangan. Bailey was on federal probation for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

The probation officer said he would get a warrant to arrest Bailey, and ordered Bailey to come to Burlington the following day. The case was quickly dropped, and federal court documents do not specify whether Bailey spent any time in prison on the charge.

In April 2010, Cady “admitted” that the information about the gun was false, according to the lawsuit. The lawsuit does not specify the context in which Cady made that admission, or his exact statements.

Bailey is seeking unspecified monetary damages in his lawsuit, which makes 11 claims, including unreasonable search and seizure, trespass, and gross negligence. The defendants are Bishop, Orange County Sheriff Bill Bohnyak, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Cady, and the State of Vermont.

“At the time, Deputy Bishop and the rest of the officers followed proper procedures for obtaining a search warrant,” Bohnyak said in an interview. He confirmed that Bishop is no longer with the department, but declined further comment.

In court documents, Pietro Lynn of Burlington, the attorney representing Bishop, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and Bohnyak, denied the allegations, though he acknowledged that a warrant was obtained and a gun found.

Lynn could not be reached for comment.

In a separate filing , Assistant Vermont Attorney General Mark Patane denied allegations against the state, and said the state could not be held liable in the lawsuit.

Cady, 22, could not be reached for comment, and law enforcement officials have been unable to locate him to serve him the lawsuit, papers according to court documents.

A judge issued an arrest warrant for Cady in 2011 after he failed to appear for a court hearing on charges of underage consumption of alcohol and drug possession, according to Orange Superior Court documents.

Authorities initially thought Cady was somewhere in Grafton County but was moving frequently to avoid being served, according to court documents. Officials believe he now may be somewhere in Vermont, according to court documents. Cady has not retained an attorney to represent him.

Bailey, who could not be reached for comment, has been convicted of at least five felonies and 11 misdemeanors, and is currently facing four charges, from separate incidents, of driving with a suspended license, according to court documents.

Among his crimes were forgery, lewd and lascivious conduct, possessing stolen property, receiving stolen property, possession of a weapon, and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Perhaps most notoriously, Bailey was convicted in 2009 of unauthorized removal of human remains, after he dug up an urn containing his father’s remains from a Thetford cemetery and placed it in his living room.

Bailey’s attorney, David Kirby of Burlington, declined to comment on the case. A former U.S. Attorney in Vermont, Kirby has previously helped in the defense of an alleged member of al-Qaeda indicted in the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in East Africa.

Mark Davis can be reached at mcdavis@vnews.com or 603-727-3304.