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BILL AS INTRODUCED 2007-2008

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H.636

Introduced by   Representatives Flory of Pittsford and Jewett of Ripton

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject:  Crimes; larceny and embezzlement; embezzlement by a public official

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to punish a public official who has embezzled funds received in the person’s official capacity regardless of where the funds originated; provides that embezzlement occurs when a person embezzles funds belonging to a county or town as well as to the state or a municipal corporation, and allows a sheriff’s powers to be suspended when there is probable cause to believe that a sheriff has committed embezzlement. The bill also clarifies that when the auditor of accounts subpoenas witnesses, the witnesses shall testify under oath and be subject to the penalties of perjury.

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, or holds money, obligations, or securities belonging to a corporation, public or private, or to a private person, who embezzles or fraudulently converts to his or her own use any of such money, obligations, or securities, 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, town, or municipal corporation, 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.  24 V.S.A. § 294 is amended to read:

§ 294.  SHERIFF IMPRISONED  SUSPENSION

If a sheriff is confined in prison by legal process or if probable cause shall be found by a court or grand jury having jurisdiction that a sheriff has violated 13 V.S.A. § 2537, his or her functions as sheriff shall be suspended.  When he the sheriff is released from imprisonment during his or her term of office, he or she shall file a certificate of his 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 the sheriff shall resume the powers and execute the duties of sheriff.  When the charge of violating 13 V.S.A. § 2537 is dismissed, or a finding of not guilty entered, during his or her term of office, he or she shall resume the powers and execute the duties of sheriff.

Sec. 3.  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.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us