George Contois, 72, is a Part Time Sheriff’s Deputy in Washington
George Contois, 72 years old and part time sheriff’s deputy from Washington state, has been in law enforcement for more than 30 years.
In November, he won the election to replace longtime Orange County Sheriff Bill Bohnyak and is now warning of staffing shortages that could put his department in jeopardy.
Early Life and Education
George Contois was born in Caledonia, Michigan to Joseph and Lily Contois.
He is a part-time sheriff’s deputy in Orange County, Vermont and is running against Bill Bohnyak for the position of sheriff.
Former Democratic, Contois has served in the sheriff’s department since 2006 and is challenging Bohnyak for her position.
Since becoming sheriff, Bohnyak has presided over a turbulent transition within his department. Many employees left, leaving everything in Bohnyak’s capable hands.
Internal communications between Contois and his staff indicate he attempted to take control of the sheriff’s department before being sworn in on February 1. In an email sent over the weekend, Contois informed all staff members that he intended to “take over,” even though Bohnyak hadn’t given him permission yet.
George Contois, a veteran of the US Army and passionate space explorer, developed an interest in space science during his military service during the 1960s. This passion eventually led him to NASA where he worked on a project to manually control satellites orbiting Earth.
He now works part-time for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department as a deputy sheriff, hoping to unseat Republican incumbent Bill Bohnyak for the top job. As a Democrat, he’s running for election in 2020.
The debate has raged on Front Porch Forum, in letters to the Randolph Herald newspaper and at public meetings called to share information and solicit feedback from residents. George Contois’ new policing model – designed and implemented by his successor as sheriff – has gained momentum within Randolph.
Achievements and Honors
George Contois is a renowned football player who has earned numerous honors. He was twice named Vermont Gatorade Player of the Year and received the PRIDE of Vermont Award.
He earned the Vermont State Colleges Association Division I Runner-Up Award and was selected for the all-state team. He was recognized for his remarkable football ability, leadership qualities, and academic accomplishment.
He is currently serving as Orange County Sheriff, and it’s expected that he will take over that position next week after Bill Bohnyak, who had served in that capacity since 2006, lost his reelection bid by less than 1%.
He is an accomplished researcher with a deep-set interest in local history. For the Fitchburg Historical Society, he has led walking tours and historical trolley tours.
Part-time law enforcement officer George Contois, 72, lives a simple life on his 150 acre farm near Seattle with his wife Mary. He mows the fields and assists her with their three horses, two cows and 17 chickens.
He also keeps up with his political work, running as a Democrat against Orange County Sheriff Bill Bohnyak in November. Following a recount, Contois emerged victorious with 6,606 votes over Bohnyak’s 6,500.
Since taking office, Contois has observed the department in a precarious state of disrepair. Its pay is low, the staffing shortage so severe that it has had to cancel its 120-hour patrol contract with Randolph and there isn’t even enough money left for new deputies’ salaries.