A former Vermont State Police trooper is facing criminal charges alleging that he used his position to steal personal property from storage areas and other locations that he had access to as a police officer, the state police said Monday.
Giancarlo DiGenova, 44, of Essex, turned himself in. He is due to appear in court in Burlington Thursday and in Barre on April 6. The Vermont Troopers’ Association, which previously represented him, said it no longer does and has no comment about the case.
In a statement, Col. Matthew Birmingham, head of the Vermont State Police, called DiGenova’s alleged actions “an extraordinary betrayal of the public’s trust” said people were right to be outraged.
“I also want you to know that the system worked as well as it can when someone is determined to commit crimes by abusing their power and trust,” Birmingham said. “The former trooper’s actions were uncovered by his peers, who reported him to supervisors.”
DiGenova started as a trooper in 2009. He was suspended in December after it was discovered that a bag containing more than $40,000 in valuables belonging to a person taken into custody could not be located. He resigned from the state police last month.
Among the missing items was a $14,000 Rolex watch, diamond stud earrings, a designer wallet and keychain. The watch was recovered at the Massachusetts home of a relative of DiGenova’s. The rest of the property remains missing, police said.
The investigation began after another trooper, who knew about property having gone missing, reported that DiGenova had shown a Rolex he claimed to have bought online.
During the investigation, investigators learned of additional property missing from storage areas DiGenova allegedly accessed. In one case he is accused of taking prescription pills prescribed to a juvenile.
In addition to a lengthy and comprehensive investigation that led to the charges against DiGenova, the state police has reviewed its policies and procedures to increase oversight and maximize accountability.
Bill H.476, which passed out of the House Government Operations Committee last week, would overhaul the law enforcement domestic violence policies in the state. It would also create alternate routes to certification.
“It brought up the question that there is some conduct that officers in Vermont law enforcement could have off duty that would be serious enough for us to consider sanctions such as decertification,” Committee Chair Mike McCarthy, D-St. Albans,
McCarthy also said that his committee is not done looking into other types of conduct that could lead to potential sanctions for officers under the jurisdiction of the Vermont Criminal Justice Council.
Last month, state police launched an internal investigation into allegations that off-duty troopers posted racist, homophobic and misogynistic slurs while playing an online party game.