Ex-trooper settles lawsuit for $27K alleging he assaulted 2 men

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NEWFANE, Vermont — A former Vermont state trooper who was accused of assaulting two men he thought had stolen his canoe has paid $27,000 to settle their lawsuit.

Eric Howley had previously pleaded no contest to criminal charges of simple assault in February 2013 in Windham Superior Court. He received a six-to-12-month sentence; the jail time was suspended in favor of two years of probation.

Howley, of Wilmington, resigned in May 2012. Court papers said he repeatedly slammed one man's head on the trunk of his cruiser and pushed another man into a rock at a lake in April. They were in a canoe Howley identified as his and that he had reported stolen.

The Brattleboro Reformer reports (http://bit.ly/1k5OIlb) Devin McLaughlin, the lawyer representing both men, said it was a fair settlement figure.

Information from: Brattleboro Reformer, http://www.reformer.com/

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