A former Vermont State Police trooper accused of stealing property from an evidence room pleaded not guilty Thursday to some 20 criminal charges, including neglect of duty and grand larceny.

Giancarlo DiGenova, 44, was placed on paid leave in December after police were unable to locate several items from the Williston barracks’ temporary evidence storage room, including a gold Rolex watch valued at $14,000, a wallet and diamond stud earrings. 

He resigned in February after a three-month investigation. After entering his plea in a Burlington courtroom, DiGenova was released on conditions

“There is a long road ahead to get to the bottom of everything that has been alleged against Mr. DiGenova,” says his defense attorney, Robert Kaplan.

State’s Attorney Sarah George says DiGenova betrayed the public’s trust and needs top be hjeld accountable.

.Part of that is making sure that he’s not a law enforcement officer anymore, and unfortunately I think that trust is something we can’t get back,” George said.

Vermont State Police Commander Col. Matthew Birmingham said in a statement Monday that no evidence in criminal cases was ever compromised. He added that the agency has “made revisions where necessary,” inclouding an assessment of storage areas and additional surveillance cameras

.George says the state’s attorney’s office has not found evidence that previous cases involving DiGenova were impacted.t

Kaplan said the charges are merely accusations at this point.

“He [DiGenova] hopes that the public will keep an open mind about these allegations that have been made against him and wait until the final resolution of this case to form their judgment about what has occurred,” he says.

George said her office worked especially hard at making their case against DiGenova to avoid appearing to show bias toward law enforcement.

“When you are charging a law enforcement officer, I think it’s incredibly important that you feel confident in those charges, and aren’t just doing it to make a point, and making sure you have the evidence to support it,” she said.

DiGenova faces charges in Washington County and is due in court in Barre on April 6.