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BILL AS PASSED BY HOUSE 2007-2008

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H.636

AN ACT RELATING TO EMBEZZLEMENT BY A PUBLIC OFFICIAL

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

Sec. 1.  13 V.S.A. § 2537 is amended to read:

§ 2537.  PERSON HOLDING PROPERTY IN OFFICIAL CAPACITY OR BELONGING TO THE STATE OR A MUNICIPALITY

A state, county, town, or municipal officer or other person who in his or her official capacity receives, collects, controls, or holds money, obligations, or securities belonging to a corporation, public or private, or to a private person, or other property, who embezzles or fraudulently converts to his or her own use any of such money, obligations or, securities, or other property, or a person who embezzles or fraudulently converts to his or her own use, money or other property belonging to the state or to a county or municipality, or a municipal corporation, or a special purpose district, shall be guilty of larceny and shall be imprisoned not more than ten years or fined not more than $1,000.00, or both.

Sec. 2.  13 V.S.A. § 7554 is amended to read:

§ 7554.  RELEASE PRIOR TO TRIAL

(a)  Any person charged with an offense, other than a person held without bail under section 7553 or 7553a of this title, shall at his or her appearance before a judicial officer be ordered released pending trial in accordance with this section.

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(2)  If the judicial officer determines that conditions of release imposed to assure appearance will not reasonably protect the public, the judicial officer may in addition impose the least restrictive of the following conditions or the least restrictive combination of the following conditions which will reasonably assure protection of the public:

(A)  Place the person in the custody of a designated person or organization agreeing to supervise him or her.

(B)  Place restrictions on the travel, association, or place of abode of the person during the period of release.

(C)  Require the person to participate in an alcohol or drug treatment program.  The judicial officer shall take into consideration the defendant’s ability to comply with an order of treatment and the availability of treatment resources.

(D)  Impose any other condition found reasonably necessary to protect the public, except that a physically restrictive condition may only be imposed in extraordinary circumstances.

(E)  If the person is a state, county, or municipal officer charged with violating section 2537 of this title, the court may suspend the officer’s duties in whole or in part, if the court finds that it is necessary to protect the public.

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Sec. 3.  24 V.S.A. § 176 is amended to read:

§ 176.  DEPUTY CLERK

A county clerk may, subject to the approval of the assistant judges, appoint one or more deputies who may perform the duties of clerk for whose acts he or she shall be responsible and whose deputations he or she may revoke at pleasure.  A record of the appointments shall be made in the office of the clerk.  In case of the death of the clerk or his or her inability to act, the deputy or deputies in order of appointment shall perform the duties of the office until a clerk is appointed.  In case of the suspension of the clerk’s duties as a condition of release pending trial for violating 13 V.S.A. § 2537, the deputy or deputies in order of appointment shall perform the duties of the office until the charge of violating 13 V.S.A. § 2537 is resolved.  The compensation for the deputy clerk shall be fixed by the assistant judges and paid for by the county.  Such compensation may include such employment benefits as are presently provided to state employees including, but not limited to, health insurance, life insurance, and pension plan, the expense for which shall be borne by the county and the employees.


Sec. 4.  24 V.S.A. § 211 is amended to read:

§ 211.  APPOINTMENT; VACANCY

Biennially, on February 1, the assistant judges of the superior court shall appoint a treasurer for the county who shall hold office for two years and until his or her successor is appointed and qualified.  If such treasurer dies or in the opinion of the assistant judges becomes disqualified, they may appoint a treasurer for the unexpired term.  If the treasurer has his or her duties suspended as a condition of release pending trial for violating 13 V.S.A. § 2537, the assistant judges may appoint a person to perform the duties of the treasurer until the charge of violating 13 V.S.A. § 2537 is resolved.

Sec. 5.  24 V.S.A. § 294 is amended to read:

§ 294.  SHERIFF IMPRISONED

If a sheriff is confined in prison by legal process, or has his or her duties suspended as a condition of release pending trial for violating 13 V.S.A. § 2537, his or her functions as sheriff shall be suspended.  When he or she is released from imprisonment during his or her term of office, he or she shall file a certificate of his or her discharge signed by one of the judges of the superior court, in the office of the county clerk, and deliver a like certificate to the high bailiff.  Thereupon he or she shall resume the powers and execute the duties of sheriff.


Sec. 6.  24 V.S.A. § 363 is amended to read:

§ 363.  DEPUTY STATE’S ATTORNEYS

A state’s attorney may appoint as many deputy state’s attorneys as necessary for the proper and efficient performance of his or her office, and with the approval of the governor, fix their pay not to exceed that of the state’s attorney making the appointment, and may remove them at pleasure.  Deputy state’s attorneys shall be compensated only for periods of actual performance of the duties of such office.  Deputy state’s attorneys shall be reimbursed for their necessary expenses incurred in connection with their official duties when approved by the state’s attorneys and the commissioner of finance.  Deputy state’s attorneys shall exercise all the powers and duties of the state’s attorneys except the power to designate someone to act in the event of their own disqualification.  If the state’s attorney’s duties are suspended as a condition of release pending trial for violating 13 V.S.A. § 2537, the deputy or deputies in order of appointment shall perform the duties of the state’s attorney until the charge of violating 13 V.S.A. § 2537 is resolved.  Deputy state’s attorneys may not enter upon the duties of the office until they have taken the oath or affirmation of allegiance to the state and the oath of office required by the constitution, and until such oath together with their appointment is filed for record with the county clerk.  In case of a vacancy in the office of state’s attorney, the appointment of the deputy shall expire upon the appointment of a new state’s attorney.

Sec. 7.  24 V.S.A. § 961 is amended to read:

§ 961.  VACANCY OR SUSPENSION OF OFFICER’S DUTIES

(a)  When a town officer resigns his or her office, or has been removed therefrom, or dies, or becomes insane or removes from town, such office shall become vacant.  Notice of this vacancy shall be posted by the legislative body in at least two public places in the town, and in and near the town clerk’s office, within 10 days of the creation of the vacancy.

(b)  In the event there are so many vacancies on the selectboard that a quorum cannot be achieved, the remaining selectperson or selectpersons shall be authorized to draw orders for payment of continuing obligations and necessary expenses until the vacancies are filled pursuant to section 963 of this title.

(c)  The legislative body of a town may designate a person to perform the duties of an officer whose duties have been suspended as a condition of release pending trial for violating 13 V.S.A. § 2537.


Sec. 8.  24 V.S.A. § 962 is amended to read:

§ 962.  SPECIAL MEETING

A town at a special meeting may fill a vacancy in a town office or designate a person to perform the duties of an officer whose duties have been suspended as a condition of release pending trial for violating 13 V.S.A. § 2537.

Sec. 9.  24 V.S.A. § 1171 is amended to read:

§ 1171.  -DUTIES

Such assistant clerk shall be sworn and is authorized to perform the recording and filing duties of the town clerk, to issue licenses and certified copies of records and, in the absence, death or disability of the town clerk, or the suspension of the town clerk’s duties as a condition of release pending trial for violating 13 V.S.A. § 2537, is further authorized to perform all other duties of such clerk.  If the town clerk dies, the authority of the assistant town clerk to perform the duties of the town clerk shall continue until a successor is appointed by the selectmen under section 963 of this title.

Sec. 10.  32 V.S.A. § 167(b) is amended to read:

(b)  In connection with any of his or her duties, the auditor of accounts may administer oaths and may subpoena any person to appear before him or her. Such persons shall testify under oath and be subject to the penalties of perjury, and may be examined concerning any matter relating to the statutory duties of the auditor provided by section 163 of this title.  Nothing in this subsection shall limit a person’s fifth amendment rights against self‑incrimination.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us