Gov. Peter Shumlin appointed Michael Kainen as Windsor County state’s attorney Friday.
Kainen is an Orange County deputy state’s attorney in Chelsea and will replace Robert Sand, who will be assisting the Department of Public Safety in redefining drunken driving sentencing and treatment efforts in Vermont.
Kainen was informed of the governor’s decision Thursday. He will begin his new job March 23 and said he is pleased to represent Windsor County.
“I’m happy to have the appointment,” Kainen said. “I’ll be working on some transition items while in White River Junction and button up what’s left up here in Orange County and go from there.”
Shumlin said in a statement that Kainen is known for his common-sense approach to law and is seen by many as an consensus builder. Kainen attributed these traits to Sand, with whom he worked at the state’s attorney’s office in Windsor County for 15 years.
“Michael’s broad experience in civil and criminal practice, as well as his commitment to teaching and public service, make him a great choice to replace Bobby Sand,” Shumlin said.
Windsor County Democrats nominated Kainen and Windsor County Deputy State’s Attorney David Cahill of Norwich as Sand’s successor. The committee thought both candidates were well qualified for the job.
Cahill also heard about the governor’s selection Thursday and congratulated Kainen on his new role.
“It was a hard fought campaign among colleagues and I wish him the best,” Cahill said in an email. “It was an honor to have earned the trust and confidence of the many people who do the difficult, often thankless work of delivering justice to crime victims, offenders, and the taxpaying public. I look forward to playing a continued role in public service and in modernizing our criminal justice system for the benefit of all of its stakeholders.”
Kainen, a former Republican turned Democrat from Hartford, was a four-term state representative, a private practice attorney with Hayes and Windish, PC, and executive director of the state Sentencing Commission. He received his law degree and master of studies in law cum laude from Vermont Law School in 1992 and teaches criminal justice and legal courses at the Community College of Vermont.
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