‘Can’t you just have a friend come and get me,’ prosecutor asked trooper during DUI probe, documents reveal
|Published: 02-11-2024 9:31 PM
Addison County State’s Attorney Eva Vekos asked a trooper investigating her for driving under the influence if he knew that “discretion was allowed” and questioned another officer whether he could just have a friend come get her, according to newly released charging documents.
Vekos, 54, is set to be arraigned Feb. 12 in Addison County Superior criminal court in Middlebury on the misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence.
The charge stems from her arrest after she was called by police on Jan. 25 to check out the scene of a suspicious death investigation in Bridport.
David Sleigh, a St. Johnsbury attorney representing Vekos, on Wednesday challenged whether Vekos’ reported comments in the affidavit had nefarious intent. He also said the police affidavits made public this week don’t show any evidence of his client driving erratically.
“What I see are some troopers saying that they detected what they perceived to be an odor of alcohol and slurred speech,” the defense attorney said. “Clearly, we’re going to want to examine the context of those observations and the basis for those observations.”
Chief Superior Judge Thomas Zonay, who is presiding in the case, found probable cause for the charge against Vekos on Tuesday, allowing paperwork to become public and providing a more detailed account of the allegations against the state’s attorney. Among the documents are affidavits filed by Vermont State Police troopers who were involved in Vekos’ arrest.
Vekos drove to the scene, arriving around 8:50 p.m. on Jan. 25, the charging documents stated.
Several troopers observed signs of impairment, such as slurred speech and an “odor of intoxicants” on Vekos after she arrived at the Bridport residence, according to an affidavit signed by state police Sgt. Eden Neary.
At around 9:20 p.m., Detective Trooper Ryan Anthony, along with trooper Kelsey Dobson who turned on his body cam, approached Vekos, who had returned to the driver’s seat of her vehicle, according to the affidavit.
VTDigger has asked for any police video or audio from the Vekos’ arrest, but state police would not release the material, stating, in part, that it could harm the investigation and prosecution of the case.
Anthony asked Vekos how much alcohol she had consumed, according to the filing, and “she stated one gin and tonic with dinner and stated she had a burger for dinner.”
In a separate affidavit filed by Anthony, he wrote that when he asked Vekos to perform field sobriety tests, she replied, “Are you serious Ryan, can’t you just have a friend come and get me.”
Anthony told her that was not an option, according to his affidavit, and asked her to perform field sobriety tests.
Vekos, he added, then replied, “It doesn’t matter if I do the tests or not, however I perform, you’re going to take me under arrest.”
When she refused a second time, Anthony told Vekos she was under arrest, handcuffed her and took her to the state police barracks in New Haven, the affidavit stated.