Lebanon Councilor Charged With Driving While Intoxicated

Valley News Staff Writer
Monday, April 16, 2018

Lebanon —  City Councilor Karen Liot Hill was charged with driving while intoxicated last week, an incident she said is a “wake-up call” for her to deal with personal issues.

The 39-year-old Liot Hill, a Democrat who also serves as Grafton County treasurer, was arrested on Thursday around 4:45 p.m. after a phone complaint about her driving on Interstate 89 near the Exit 17 interchange, Lebanon Police Chief Richard Mello said on Monday.

Liot Hill had been driving a Ford Edge at the time.

She was charged with driving while intoxicated, a class B misdemeanor, and released on $1,000 personal recognizance bail.

“We completed an investigation and subsequent to that, she was arrested,” said Mello, who declined to provide more details pending her court appearance.

Liot Hill will be arraigned on June 4 at Lebanon District Court.

In a phone interview on Monday, Liot Hill declined to discuss specific details at the advice of her lawyer but said she wanted to be forthright with her constituents and family.

“It’s a real wake-up call. I feel terrible about letting my family and friends and the people of Lebanon down,” said Liot Hill, who owns and operates a diner in downtown Lebanon. “I feel awful that I put myself in this situation.”

First elected to the City Council in 2005, she served as mayor in 2008 and won a seventh term on the City Council in March 2017, defeating her closest challenger by a 531-523 tally.

In 2010, Liot Hill, an amateur musician, was charged with driving under the influence late at night on Interstate 91 in Hartford after a performance in Windsor. She told the Valley News at the time that she had stopped at a bar after the performance.

Vermont State Police said then that Liot Hill had registered a blood-alcohol level of .117, above the legal driving limit of .08. The 2010 charge was ultimately amended to grossly negligent operation, according to Windsor County State’s Attorney David Cahill, and she was convicted in July 2010 and paid a $3,000 fine plus court surcharges.

Asked about that incident and the current charge, Liot Hill on Monday said, “The most important thing is that I owe it to all of the people I serve to deal with my issues, and I am committed to doing that.”

John P. Gregg can be reached at jgregg@@vnews.com or 603-727-3217.