AG will not prosecute former state official

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AG will not prosecute former state official

Thu, 02/08/2018 - 4:35pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Criminal Division of the Attorney General’s Office received the investigation regrading former VTrans Aviation Program Manager Guy Rouelle’s expenditures as a state employee for review on August 17, 2017. The allegations regarding Rouelle were possible misappropriation of state funds. Having completed the review of the matter, the Attorney General’s Office announced today that it declines to prosecute due to insufficient evidence of criminal conduct. This matter was investigated by the Vermont State Police with assistance from the Attorney General’s Office and VTrans.

The findings of the Attorney General include the following:

Guy Rouelle, May 2015. VBM photo.

Guy Rouelle, during his time as VTrans Aviation Program Manager, took helicopter lessons and received a commercial pilot’s license through a combination of Vermont and federal grant funds. Mr. Rouelle also rented helicopters on three occasions following his licensure. Two of these occasions were confirmed to be “fly-in” type events in which local youth flight enthusiasts could meet pilots and view aircraft. A third occasion involved a site visit of a proposed helipad in which individuals were purportedly testing the sound pollution of a helicopter takeoff and landing.

Based on the evidence provided to the Attorney General’s Office, Mr. Rouelle’s conduct did not violate any explicit and established expenditure rules laid out by VTrans at the time of the alleged offenses. Additionally, Mr. Rouelle appeared to be truthful, though obscure, regarding the purpose of some of the expenditures. Given the lack of evidence of an obvious violation of the expenditure rules and no provable misrepresentation, there is not sufficient evidence on which to base a criminal charge. Therefore, the AGO declines to prosecute.

Secretary of Transportation Joe Flynn said: “Once the Governor’s administration took office and began to review practices in the Aviation Division of the Agency of Transportation, numerous concerns were flagged. As a result of these concerns changes were made to improve policies and procedures regarding state purchasing card use, procurement, travel reimbursement and internal controls such as prior approval for purchases and management signoff of expenses forwarded for payment.  Our focus was on improving oversight and accountability – which had been undermined – establishing greater transparency and accountability to the Secretary.  We greatly appreciate the time the Vermont State Police and the Attorney General’s Office took to evaluate this important matter.  While there is insufficient evidence to bring criminal charges, it is clear the agency’s previous internal controls were abused and our changes are intended to prevent it from occurring again.”

Source: Vermont AG 2.8.2018