Vermont State Police will be investigating the conduct of a Winooski police officer while he was employed by a different police department.
New documents obtained by Local 22 & Local 44 News show the law enforcement official has a history of resigning amid investigations.
Last week, Local 22 & Local 44 News uncovered a 2017 investigative report ordered by the town of Williston that alleged Justin Huizenga frequented a private gym while on duty and misused sick leave, among other claims, from at least 2015-2017.
According to the report, the town notified then-Admin. Sgt. Huizenga that he was entitled to a hearing on October 20, 2017. However, Huizenga submitted his resignation several days before the hearing, according to Williston Town Manager Richard McGuire.
Huizenga has been a police officer at the Winooski Police Department since October 25, 2017, according to Winooski Police Chief Rick Hebert.
Huizenga told Local 22 & Local 44 News in a statement that the town never disciplined him and his performance evaluations were excellent.
On Friday, Chittenden County State’s Attorney Sarah George met with Williston Chief Patrick Foley to discuss the allegations. (Chief Foley was sworn-in after the alleged misconduct took place.)
George then requested Vermont State Police investigate the matter. As of Monday, the request was granted but the investigation has not yet started, according to Adam Silverman, Vermont State Police public information officer.
Erik Wells, assistant to Williston Town Manager Richard McGuire, told Local 22 & Local 44 News, “The Town will fully cooperate with any investigation undertaken by the VSP on this matter.”
George says the investigation would “close the loop on the unfinished report” conducted by a private investigator hired by the town of Williston. She says the investigation was not completed because Huizenga resigned.
Vermont State Police will be investigating a former member of its ranks.
Huizenga was a Vermont state trooper from January 2001 – December 2001.
Huizenga’s stint with state police ended December 2nd, 2001 when he voluntarily resigned, according to Silverman.
On November 21, 2001, police were called to Huizenga’s parent’s home in Monkton after reports there was a vehicle driving around the farm shining a spotlight.
When police arrived, they found Huizenga and another man in a vehicle with a rifle, ammunition and spotlight inside, according to a complaint investigation report filed by Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department Law Enforcement Division.
It is illegal to use an artificial light to spot, locate or take wild animals, also known as “deer jacking,” in Vermont.
Police say Huizenga and other man initially denied using the spotlight and then said they were using it to search for deer jackers in the field.
Huizenga told police his father had told him that night “he had been experiencing ‘a lot’ of trouble on the farm with people driving in their fields and poaching deer.”
However, when police spoke to Huizenga’s father, Butch Huizenga, he told police he hadn’t seen his son in a week.
“I asked Butch if he would be surprised to learn that who we caught was his son Justin. Butch’s response ‘Well, he should know better than that; now that’s not going to look very good for the State Police; he works for the State Police now,’” wrote an officer in the supplemental investigation report.
According to Huizenga’s attorney Pietro Lynn, Huizenga plead no contest to the charge and disclosed that information to his law enforcement employers.