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Monday, Apr 22, 2024

Addison County State’s Attorney faces DUI charge after police reports say she responded to a crime scene while intoxicated

Eva Vekos, the state attorney for Addison County, has been charged with a DUI after showing up at a Bridport, Vt. crime scene impaired. 

Vekos has been the state attorney for Addison County since November 2022, and she is currently just over a quarter of the way into the standard four-year term. 

Vekos, 54, moved to Vermont in 2015 and began working for Marsh & Wagner P.C., an attorney’s office in Middlebury, Vt., according to reporting by The Addison Independent in 2022, prior to her election. 

On Nov. 8, 2022, Vekos defeated Addison County Deputy State Attorney Peter Bevere in the general election. 

A Feb. 12 press release from the Office of the Vermont Attorney General detailed that on Jan. 25, some time after 8 p.m., Vekos reported to a crime scene on Swinton Road in Bridport to investigate a suspicious death alongside Vermont State Police troopers. 

According to affidavits written by the police officers present, Vekos was slurring her speech and smelled of intoxicants, prompting the surrounding troopers to question her about her alcohol consumption that evening. 

Vekos reportedly bumped into officers as they were gathered in the house investigating the crime scene’s evidence, and was slurring her speech noticeably while asking questions. The misdemeanor charge occurred at the crime scene of the suspicious death of 44-year-old Stephen Nuciolo Sr. in Bridport on Jan. 24, according to reporting from the Addison Independent.

Other officers testified to her difficulty standing upright and walking in clear, straight lines while moving about the Bridport crime scene, and mentioned similar struggles of balance when moving from the police cruiser to the barracks. 

After being questioned, Vekos admitted to consuming “one gin and tonic,” but refused to undergo the standard field sobriety tests given to impaired drivers, at which point she was procedurally arrested by the Vermont State Police officers and transported to the state police barracks in New Haven, Vt. 

Several days after her arrest, Vekos refused to meet in-person with law enforcement, writing in an email to law enforcement and state officials, “I do not feel safe around law enforcement,” according to VTDigger.

On Monday, Feb. 12, Vekos was arraigned in court, presided over by Rutland Superior Court Judge Thomas A. Zonay, and pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor DUI charge of driving under the influence. She was released on her own recognizance. 

The press release from the Office of the Vermont Attorney General stated that a DUI #1 breaches 23 V.S.A. § 1201(a)(2), and the misdemeanor carries a possible sentence of two years in prison or a $750 fine. 

During the arraignment, new details were brought to light about Vekos’ conduct on the crime scene, revealing that Vekos used her scarf to mask her face and mouth during the investigation and that she commented on the “discretion” of the officers on-scene that were questioning her about her sobriety, according to the Addison Independent. 

Multiple officers corroborated the evidence of Vekos’ intoxication, and noted her refusal to provide a breath sample to a DataMaster machine — a blood alcohol content measuring device — while arrested at the New Haven Vermont State Police barracks. 

While in court, Judge Zonay deemed fingerprints and photographs of Vekos unnecessary and moved the location of the case from Addison County to Chittenden County to prevent a conflict of interest between the prosecution of the case and the duties of Vekos’ own office. 

On Feb. 14, VTDigger reported that Vekos will be taking medical leave of absence before returning to her position as state attorney for Addison County. 

Vekos’ attorney David Sleigh told the press that she plans to re-enter her legal and professional duties when she is “fully grounded and up to the task,” according to VTDigger.

Sleigh added that Vekos intends to work with law enforcement and state officials to “rebuild any trust that she lost.”

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Cole Chaudhari

Cole Chaudhari ’26 (he/him) is a News Editor. 

He previously served as a Copy Editor and as a Staff Writer. Cole is double-majoring in History and English & American Literatures and is interning this semester at the New England Review.