Police Investigating Fraudulent Use of State Money

By Steph Machado

Published 04/04 2014 06:01PM

Updated 04/04 2014 06:13PM

MONTPELIER - A state employee is being accused of using your tax dollars to go shopping. Vermont State Police say they are investigating potential fraudulent use of state funds, after the Department of Human Resources reported a tip to them.

The Department of Human Resources says someone tipped them off to an employee writing checks from the state's bank account for personal use.

The employee is from the Office of Risk Management, where workers have access to the checkbook because they pay insurance claims. An attorney for the state says it's nearly impossible to keep tabs on every payment.

"People are clever," said Steve Collier, General Counsel for the Department of Human Resources. "Almost any type of system or protocols that you establish are vulnerable in some way or another. But it's incumbent upon us to create processes that are reasonable and effective. The other thing is, we can hire an auditor to audit every office and every time and every place, but that would be incredibly expensive."

Neither the state nor police are releasing the name of the employee until charges have been filed. The state's HR department would not say whether or not the employee has been fired, but did say the workers in the Office of Risk Management are not at-will, and cannot be fired without evidence of wrongdoing. The employee is also given a chance to appeal.

The VSEA, the union that protects state workers, said they do not know if they represent this particular employee because they have not been given the name.

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