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NO. 72. AN ACT RELATING TO REIMBURSING STATE EMPLOYEES CLEARED OF ALLEGED CRIMINAL WRONGDOING.

(S.148)

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1. 32 V.S.A. § 932a(e) is added to read:

(e)(1) A state employee who incurs expenses for legal representation because of a criminal investigation conducted by law enforcement authorities regarding an act or omission within the scope of the employee’s duties, may present an administrative claim to the head of his or her employing agency, provided that the employee has not:

(A) been convicted of any criminal offense on account of the act or omission;

(B) been finally terminated by the employing agency; or

(C) resigned from employment due to the act or omission.

(2) If the agency head has not yet made a determination whether the employee will be terminated, or if the termination is appealed to the Vermont labor relations board, the request may be held until such a determination has been made or the board decides the case. An employee reinstated by the board may present a claim.

(3) The agency head shall forward the request along with a recommendation to the secretary of administration, who may authorize administrative reimbursement from the agency’s budget for reasonable and necessary expenses, not to exceed $5,000.00. Payment under this subsection may only be authorized upon a finding by the secretary of administration that the act or omission was within the scope of the employee’s duties. The decision to reimburse and the amount of reimbursement are matters fully within the secretary’s discretion. The secretary’s decision shall be final and there shall be no appeal or challenge of the decision. There shall be no other reimbursement of legal expenses for criminal representation except as authorized under section 1104 of Title 3.

Sec. 2. EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect upon passage, but shall apply to claims arising on or after July 1, 1999.

Sec. 3. COMMISSIONER OF PERSONNEL; REPORT TO GENERAL ASSEMBLY

The commissioner of personnel, with the cooperation of the Vermont State Employees’ Association, shall file a report by January 1, 2002 with the General Assembly which evaluates the implementation of this act and recommends any necessary changes.

Approved: June 16, 2001