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You Can Quote Me - May 27, 2012 - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

You Can Quote Me - May 27, 2012

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

May 27, 2012 -- Tom Salmon, R-Vt. Auditor of Accounts, joins Darren Perron and Jennifer Reading to discuss his decision not to seek re-election and financial issues the state faces.


>> GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE. OUR NEWSMAKER TODAY IS STATE AUDITOR TOM SALMON, WHO ANNOUNCES HE WILL NOT RUN TO RE-ELECTION, AND HIS DUI.

>> THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

>> HE LET'S START WITH THE BIGGEST NEWS. NOT LONG AGO YOU WERE CONSIDERING A RUN FOR HIGHER OFFICE. WHAT HAS PROMPTED THIS DECISION?

>> WELL, ORIGINALLY I WAS CONSIDERING RUNNING AGAINST SENATOR SANDERS, AND THE REASON WAS, LIKE THIS WITH DECISION, CURRENTLY VERMONT RECEIVES OVER 40% OF ITS GOVERNMENTAL SUPPORT THROUGH FEDERAL DOLLARS, AND I FEEL LIKE, YOU KNOW, MY FUTURE, BASED ON THE WORK I'VE DONE IN WASHINGTON THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS, I WAS PART OF PRESIDENT OBAMA'S FLEXIBILITY WORK GROUP, SO I'M IN THE CIRCLE OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE TUKD ME ABOUT WORKING IN FEDERAL SERVICE, AND I THINK IN THE LONG TERM THAT WOULD HELP THE STATES. WE HAVE TO LINK THE PRIORITY OF FEDERAL DOLLARS WITH SOME OF THE ACTIVITIES IN THE STATES. CURRENTLY GOVERNMENT HAS SHOWN IT ONLY KNOWS HOW TO EXPAND, WE SAW THE RECOVERY. THE NEXT FIVE YEARS, THE GOVERNMENT IN THE UNITED STATES HAS TO LEARN HOW TO HAVE IS STRATEGIC CONTRACTION, SO I HOPED TO BE PART OF THAT CONVERSATION. BECAUSE OF THAT AND OTHER FACTORS, I WAS CONSIDERING THAT.

>> YOU'RE MENTIONING A MOVE TO WASHINGTON. IS THERE A SPECIFIC JOB IN THE WORKS?

>> YEAH, THERE IS, ACTUALLY. I TOLD MY FRIENDS IN WASHINGTON, "LISTEN, I NEED TO GET SOME ASSURANCE" BY LAST WEDNESDAY, BECAUSE WE HAD THE CONVENTION, THE REPUBLICAN CONVENTION WAS SATURDAY, AND I REALLY DIDN'T WANT TO GO INTO THAT DATE GIVING FOLKS THE IMPRESSION THAT I MIGHT RUN OR MIGHT NOT RUN, AND OTHER CANDIDATES NEEDED TO HAVE TIME TO DO THAT, AND I WASN'T SOMEBODY WHO WAS GOING TO JUST RUN FOR THE OFFICE TO TRY TO WIN IT FOR THE REPUBLICANS AND KEEP IT; I HAD TO BE SINCERE. BECAUSE WHEN YOU RUN FOR STATE OFFICE, YOU HAVE TO RUN WITH FULL COMMITMENT, YOU WANT TO ACCOMPLISH THINGS, AND WHEN I RAN, I WANTED TO INCREASE FINANCIAL COMMUNICATION, I WANTED TO INCREASE THE PERFORMANCE OF THE STATE AND ADDRESS THE FINANCIAL STABILITY AND OTHER ISSUES LIKE EMBEZMENT ALMENT, WHO WE WERE ABLE TO ACCOMPLISH.

>> WHO WERE YOUR FRIENDS IN WASHINGTON THAT YOU WANTED THE COMMITMENT FROM?

>> FOLKS IN THE OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND OFFICE. THEY HELP THE PRESIDENT AND HELPS THROUGH THE AGENCIES AND THE INSPECTOR GENERAL COMMUNITY, THE FEDERAL INSPECTOR GENERAL, AS WELL AS THE FEDERAL CFO, CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER, COMMUNITY. AND IT WAS VERY APPARENT TO ME WHEN WE DID THAT SCHOOL FRAUD AUDIT THAT WE SAW 25 FRAUDS THAT OCCURRED IN VERMONT IN 11 YEARS, AND NONE OF -- ONLY TWO OF THOSE FRAUDS WERE REPORTED TO THE STATE OF VERMONT, NONE TO THE AUDITOR'S OFFICE, AND NONE TO THE FEDERAL OVERSIGHT AGENCY OF THE INSPECTOR GENERAL, IN THAT CASE, EDUCATION. I REALLY HAVE BEEN SOUNDING THE ALARM FOR BETTER COMMUNICATION BETWEEN FEDERAL AND STATE GOVERNMENT. I WROTE TO THE PRESIDENT ABOUT HAVING AN OFFICE OF PLANNING, PRIORITY, AND PERFORMANCE IN EACH STATE. BECAUSE VERMONT GETS OVER 2,000 MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR THAT WE REPORT. IT'S VERY LOGICAL THAT IN THE FUTURE, TWO BILLION, TWO THOUSAND MILLION, THAT ONE OF THOSE COULD BE USED IN EACH OFFICE TO BE AN OFFICE OF PLANNING AND PRIORITY, BECAUSE WE DON'T HAVE THIS SORT OF COORDINATION AND COLLABORATION. WE SAW SOME OF IT DURING THE EXPANSION OF GOVERNMENT WITH ERA, BUT WE NEED THAT COLLABORATION? WE'RE GOING TO SUSTAIN THE SIZE OF GOVERNMENT. WE HAVE REAL THAT THERE IS TOO BIG A GAP BETWEEN REVENUES AND EXPENSES. I MADE A JOKE AT THE CONVENTION, IT REALLY WAS A STATEMENT THAT PEOPLE LAUGHED AT, I SAID I WAS RAISED BY TWO DEMOCRATIC PARENTS, AND THEY RAISED ME TO TELL THE TRUTH AND HOLD MYSELF BLTHABLE, AND AS A RESULT, I -- ACCOUNTABLE, AND AS A RESULT, I FOUND MYSELF BECOMING A REPUBLICAN. PEOPLE LAUGHED. BUT YOU HAVE TO PEOPLE IN GOVERNMENT WHO UNDERSTAND WE ARE ON AN UNSUSTAINABLE COURSE. WE HAVE A TALENTED STAFF, AND I THINK MY FUTURE ROLE IN WASHINGTON IS GOING TO BE TO HELP THAT FEDERAL/STATE FUTURE, BECAUSE SOMETHING HAS TO CHANGE.

>> SO IT'S NO SECRET, NO ONE GETS INTO PUBLIC OFFICE FOR THE SALARY. DOES THAT FACTOR INTO YOUR MOVE?

>> IT DOES. I MADE MENTION TO "SEVEN DAYS" THE OTHER DAY, I THINK THE AUDITOR SHOULD BE A PROFESSIONAL, A CPA, AND THAT THE SALARY SHOULD BE UP TO $180,000. THE TREASURER OVERSEES FOUR BILLION DOLLARS, WE HAVE THE AUDITOR WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR AUDITING FIVE BILLION DOLLARS, AND THE SALARY FOR US IS AROUND $90,000, AND YOU HAVE PEOPLE IN OTHER PARTS OF STATE GOVERNMENT THAT EARN $130,000. THAT ARE NOT GOVERNOR. YOU HAVE 178 PEOPLE WHO EARN MORE THAN THESE CERTAIN STATEWIDES. I HAVE NEVER WORKED A JOB FOR MONEY. I LEFT A JOB TO BECOME A TEACHER, 50% PAY CUT, BUT IT IS SIGNIFICANT FOR ME. WE HELD A KID OUT OF COLLEGE LAST YEAR BECAUSE IT WAS TOO EXPENSIVE, AND WE CURRENTLY HAVE THREE COLLEGE-AGE STUDENTS RIGHT NOW, AND THE GAP BETWEEN OUR INCOME AND THE GAP -- AND OUR ABILITY TO KEEP FROM STRANGLING UNDER STUDENT DEBT LOAN IS AN ISSUE. I HAVE A SKILL SET AND CAN WORK IN AN AREA THAT WOULD PAY ME UP TO $220,000 -- AND I JUST HAVE TO ACCEPT THAT REALITY, AND THAT'S PROBABLY GOING TO PULL ME OUT OF VERMONT TO KEEP MY KIDS AND MY FAMILY FROM BORROWING A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF MONEY. THEY WILL LITERALLY, COLLEGES WILL STAY WITH YOU, "I KNOW YOU EARN $90,000, BUT WE'LL LOAN YOU $100,000 FOR AS MANY YEARS AS YOU NEED IT. IT'S NOT SUSTAINABLE. IT'S ABOUT THE LONG-TERM CONVERSATION BETWEEN THE FEDERAL/STATE RELATIONSHIP. THERE IS TOO MUCH EXPENSE IN THE AREA OF GOVERNMENT THAT IS NOT BEING ADDRESSED IN THIS COUNTRY, AND WE'RE ON THE VERGE OF, IN THE NEXT FIVE YEARS, IF WE DON'T FULLY ADDRESS IT, IT MAY BE IRREPARABLE. AND I DON'T WANT TO USE THE AUDITOR'S OFFICE AS A SOAP BOX, BUT WE HAVE MADE COMMENTARY ABOUT ENERGY AND OTHER THINGS, THE SUSTAINABILITY OF BUSINESS, BUILDING BUSINESSES VERSUS EXPANSE OF GOVERNMENT. I WOULD DO A ROAD SHOW, AND I WOULD SAY SINCE ACT 60, GOVERNMENT SPENDING HAS GONE UP 150%. OKAY? AND IN THAT TIME FRAME, WE'VE ONLY HAD PRIVATE-SECTOR JOB GROWTH OF ABOUT NET 1%. SO THERE'S SOME REALLY DAMAGING REALITIES ABOUT THE WAY WE'VE SHIFTED TO A -- OUR SOCIETY INTO AN ECONOMY THAT LIVES OFF OF ITSELF, IN ESSENCE. YOU BORROW MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF MONEY FROM CHINA AND OTHER PLACES, AND THEN YOU FUEL GOVERNMENTS AND OTHER NON-PROFITABLE THINGS, AND WE'RE NOT MOVING FORWARD AS A COUNTRY AND A STATE, AND HOPEFULLY WE'RE GOING TO BE ABLE TO ADDRESS THAT. AND THE PRESIDENT, WHETHER IT'S OBAMA OR ROMNEY, CAN BE A REAL PERFORMANCE PRESIDENT, I'M HOPING.

>> YOUR PLAN IS TO UPROOT THE FAMILY AND MOVE TO D.C.

>> THAT'S THE PLAN. MY WIFE AND I WILL GET A TWO-BEDROOM NEAR THE TRAIN STATION, THERE IS ONE IN MANASSAS, VIRGINIA, $1200 A MONTH. ONE DAUGHTER WHO MAY TAKE A GAP YEAR BECAUSE OF THE SITUATION, IS ALL FOR THAT, AND OTHER WILL GO TO SCHOOL.

>> HAVE YOU ACCEPTED ANYTHING?

>> NO, I'M PURPOSELY TRYING NOT TO ACCEPT ANYTHING RIGHT NOW, BECAUSE I WOULD LIKE TO FINISH OUT THE TERM. WE HAVE PEOPLE WITH CPAs OR MASTERS DEGREE IN THE OFFICE THAT RELY ON ME TO PROVIDE THE STABILITY AND GUIDANCE.

>> IDEALLY, ANY VAST TOPICS YOU WOULD LIKE TO TACKLE BEFORE YOU DO LEAVE?

>> ONE OF THEM IS MAKING SURE WE HAVE PROPER OVERSIGHT IN RECOVERY WITH IRENE. BEFORE MEETING WITH YOU, I MET WITH MICHAEL CLAUSEN IN THE SECRETARY OF ADMINISTRATION'S OFFICE JUST TO CREATE MORE STRATEGIES NOW AND THE TIME THAT I LEAVE SO THAT WE HAVE -- I WANT TO HAVE A COMFORT LEVEL THAT VERMONT WON'T HAVE TO PAY BACK TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ANY FEMA FUNDING, AND THAT THE TOWNS ARE AUTONOMOUS. THERE IS THE POTENTIALLY CONTROVERSIAL AUDIT RELATED TO THE FIFF -- THE TIFF, WE HAVE A JOB-CREATION AUDIT THAT'S STARTING, WE ARE SO GRATEFUL TO THE LEGISLATURE THAT THEY AADOPTED SOME OF THE EMBEZZLEMENT-PREVENTION TRAINING TOOLS. THAT'S MORE OF TEACHING A MAN TO FISH. WE ARE DOING AN INTERESTING AUDIT USING THE SOCIAL SECURITY DEATH FILE P. WE'RE USING DATA MINING, AND WE'RE CHECKING THE DEATH FILE AGAINST PEOPLE WHO HAVE RECEIVED PUBLIC BENEFITS IN VERMONT. AND IT COULD BE ANYTHING FROM MEDICAID TO FUEL ASSISTANCE TO ANY PUBLIC BENEFIT TO ENSURE THAT VERMONT AND ITS WELL AND TRUSTING GOOD-NATURED WAY IS NOT PAYING DEAD PEOPLE, OR, IN OTHER WORDS, THEIR FAMILIES FILLING OUT FORMS TO REAP BENEFITS WHEN THE PERSON ISN'T ALIVE.

>> IS THAT AUDIT UNDERWAY NOW?

>> YEAH.

>> HAVE YOU FOUND PEOPLE SCAMMING THE STATE?

>> WE CAN'T SAY THAT STATEMENT YET, BUT POTENTIALLY, YES, WE ARE FINDING DISCREPANCIES. IT'S A FASCINATING AUDIT. WE ALSO DID ONE OF THOSE TYPES OF AUDITS WHERE WE DATA MINED TO MAKE SURE MEDICAID PROVIDERS -- NOT JUST DOCTORS AND DENTISTS, THAT'S DURABLE MEDICAL EQUIPMENT, TRANSPORTATION, COUNSELORS -- WE WANTED TO MAKE SURE IF THEY OWED TAXES TO THE STATE, THAT WE WEREN'T PAYING THEM, LIKE CURRENTLY THERE IS AN OFFSET PROGRAM, YOU CAN'T BUILD A ROAD FOR VERMONT, AND YOU CAN'T BUILD THE ROAD OR HIGHWAY IF YOU OWE TAXES. BUT WITH MEDICAID,WE DIDN'T HAVE THAT OFFSET. THAT WORK, WE DID FIND ABOUT $350,000 IN DISCREPANCY, PEOPLE WHO OWED MONEY TO THE STATE AND WERE RECEIVING PAYMENTS, AND THAT LOOPHOLE IS BEING CLOSEED.

>> RIGHT NOW YOU AND THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR ARE THE ONLY TWO REPUBLICANS HOLDING STATEWIDE OFFICE. CLEARLY THE DEMOCRATS ARE IN CONTROL OF THE GOVERNOR'S SEAT AND THE LEGISLATURE. YOU YOURSELF WERE RAISED A DEMOCRAT, AND THIS IS OBVIOUSLY A PRETTY BLUE STATE, YOU SWITCHED PARTY TO BECOME A REPUBLICAN, AS YOU MENTIONED EARLIER IN THE BROADCAST, 2010?

>> 2009. I HAD BEEN BACK FROM SERVING IN IRAQ PROBABLY ABOUT SIX MONTHS, AND I MADE THE SWITCH IN SEPTEMBER, MAINLY BECAUSE THE WAY THE COUNTRY WAS GOING TO RELATED TO HEALTHCARE AND ALSO THE WAY THE DEMOCRATIC LEADERSHIP IN VERMONT, AS MUCH AS I COULD TELL, BUT THE DEMOCRAT MAKING DECISIONS FOR VERMONT, I SAID I DON'T RELATE TO THESE PEOPLE.

>> WHY?

>> I DON'T RELATE TO THE VERMONT DEMOCRAT BECAUSE THEY HAVE AN IDEA THAT WE'RE GOING TO SERVE ALL THE NEEDS OF THE PEOPLE AND THEN WE'LL GO FIGURE OUT A WAY TO PAY FOR IT, WHEREAS I THINK THE MOST REASONABLE, RESPONSIBLE, RELIABLE, REPUBLICAN VIEW IS WHAT IS A REASONABLE AMOUNT OF REVENUE THAT WE HAVE, AND THEN LET'S PRIORITIZE THE EXPENDITURES. WE CAN'T DO EVERYTHING FOR EVERYBODY. AND AS A RESULT, I THINK WE'VE -- WE'VE ALMOST CREATED AN UNTENABLE SITUATION WHERE WE CAN'T RATCHET DOWN THE SIZE OF GOVERNMENT. I USE THE EXAMPLE OF GOVERNMENT GROWING BY 150% AND THE PRIVATE SECTOR GROWING BY ONLY NET 1%. I WAS A CLASSROOM TEACHER, IN FACT I GOT THIS TIE FROM ONE OF MY STUDENTS IN EAST LOS ANGELES. I HAD HIGH EXPECTATIONS FOR CITIZENS. WHEN PRESIDENT OBAMA CAME ALONG AND DIDN'T REALLY HOLD PEOPLE ACCOUNTABLE FOR WHAT HEALTHCARE WAS GOING TO LOOK LIKE, I'M ALL FOR BASIC CARE, BUT WHEN YOU CAN'T GET PEOPLE TO GET INTO THE GAME AND 80% OF OUR COSTS ARE A RESULT OF PREVENTABLE DISEASES, I DON'T FEEL LIKE THERE ARE EXPECTATIONS FOR CITIZENS. I THINK THEY'RE TRYING TO GET VOTES FOR THE MOST PART.

>> THAT WAS A RISKY PARTY TO SWITCH PARTIES, AND YOU SQUEAKED BY THE WIN. ANY REGRETS AT ALL, OR DO YOU THINK THERE IS A MIDDLE GROUND, INDEPENDENT?

>> NO, NO REGRETS. I MEAN, I REALLY FEEL THAT VERMONT REPUBLICANS GET A BAD RAP, YOU KNOW, TIED IN, WITH, SAY, WASHINGTON REPUBLICANS, SO I DON'T HAVE ANY REGRETS. BUT I DO THINK THAT, YOU KNOW, A VERMONT REPUBLICAN IS AN OLD DEMOCRAT FROM THE DAYS GONE PAST IN VERMONT, AND, YES, IN MANY WAYS, WE'RE A VERY INDEPENDENT STATE. THAT'S THE ONLY WAY I COULD GET PROBABLY RE-ELECTED AS A REPUBLICAN, IS THAT WE'RE PRINCEFULLY -- PLINS PLI A VERY INDEPENDENT STATE, BUT WE NEED SOME BALANCE IN THIS STATE. I PURPOSELY WENT TO THE REPUBLICAN PARTY FEELING WE ARE SO OUT OF BALANCE AS A STATE POLITICALLY, THIS WILL HOPEFULLY CREATE MORE OF A BASE OR A BALANCE. THE OTHER THING IS WE HAVE PEOPLE WHO ARE INSINCERE INDEPENDENTS. BERNIE SANDERS SHOULD BE ABLE TO STAND UP FOR EVERY SOCIAL CAUSE HE BELIEVES IN, BUT WHEN YOU CALL YOURSELF AN INDEPENDENT, IT GIVES MONTH MOST OF US OBJECT PEOPLE THE SENSE THAT INDEPENDENT AND EVEN THE WAY YOU REFERENCED IT WAS A MIDDLE-OF-THE-ROAD POSITION. FOR ME TO BE ANWIND BERNIE SANDERS DIDN'T SIT RIGHT. I'M CLEARLY RIGHT OF HIM.

>> ARE YOU WORRIED ABOUT THE POLITICAL CLIMATE AND THE DIRECTION THAT VERMONT IS HEADING?

>> NO, NO, I THINK THE REPUBLICANS THAT ARE IN THE FIELD ARE REASONABLE, WELL-LIKED, I MEAN, I THINK THAT, YOU KNOW, MY LINE TO PEOPLE IS, IF YOU'RE REALLY SERIOUS ABOUT THE FINANCIAL CONDITION OF THE STATE, YOU WILL BECOME MORE FINANCIAL -- YOU WILL BECOME MORE FISCALLY CONSERVATIVE. LET'S GET THE SOCIAL AGENDA OFF THE TABLE. I'VE NEVER BEEN A RIGHT-WINGER, PEOPLE KNEW I SUPPORTED A WOMAN'S RIGHT TO CHOOSE OR MARRIAGE EQUALITY. THAT WASN'T THE ISSUE. BUT I'M HOPING THAT VERMONT -- AND I DON'T WANT TO WISH IT BAD NEWS FIRST -- BUT I'M HOPING VERMONT WILL REALIZE WE'RE SPENDING MONEY WE DON'T HAVE, AT ALL LEVELS, AND YEAH, WE'VE GOT IRENE AND OTHER ISSUES THAT CAN KIND OF SHIELD US FROM SOME OF THE DANGERS, BUT IT'S GOING TO BE A LONG ROAD FOR US REPUBLICANS IN VERMONT, BUT I'M -- I CAN ONLY HOPE THAT WE'LL PICK UP A FEW ON THE WAY.

>> WE'RE GOING TO TAKE A QUICK BREAK, AND WE WILL BE RIGHT BACK WITH

>> WE ARE BACK NOW WITH TOM SALMON. THANKS FOR JOINING US. WE WERE CHATTING ABOUT THE SWITCH TO THE REPUBLICAN PARTY. ONE CONTROVERSIAL PART OF YOUR CAREER HERE. ANOTHER THAT GARNERED HEADLINES FOR WEEKS WAS THE FACT THAT YOU GOT A DUI. YOU ADMITTED YOU WERE DRIVING DRUNK. WHAT HAPPENED THAT NIGHT?

>> I DRANK TOO MUCH, GOT BEHIND THE WHEEL, MADE A MISTAKE, KNEW IT INSTANTLY AFTER I GOT STOPPED FOR NOT USING MY BLINKER, I EVEN EMAILED SHEAED TOEN THAT NIGHT AND SAID DUI 1, AND I WAS SCHEDULED THE NEXT MORNING TO TO BE AT A REPUBLICAN EVENT, SO THE CAMERAS WERE RIGHT THERE, SO IT CREATED -- IT SORT OF HIGHLIGHTED AN ACCOUNTABILITY PROFESSIONAL, ME, THE AUDITOR, REALLY BEING TESTED AS SOMEBODY WHO COULD HAVE EASILY PLED TO A LESSER CHARGE, .086, CERTAINLY CLOSE TO NEGLIGENT, BUT TO ME, .086 WAS GREATER THAN .08, IT WAS OVER THE LINE, ILLEGAL, AND I HAD TO TAKE MY MEDICINE AND GO FORWARD. BUT I FOUND A SILVER LINING. AS LONG AS YOU'RE WILLING TO FACE YOUR MISTAKES, YOU CAN EVEN GET PEOPLE TO FACE THEIRS. AND ALL OF THIS "WHO ARE YOU ACCOUNTABLE TO" WHEN IT'S THE -- WHETHER IT'S THE MAN IN THE MIRROR OR THE MAN UPSTAIRS, HOLDING ANYBODY ACCOUNTABLE FROM THE AUDITOR'S PERSPECTIVE, IT LENT ITSELF TO, "HEY, THIS GUY IS WILLING TO TAKE HIS LUMPS." IT HELPED ME WALK THE WALK, HAVE A BAD THING HAPPEN, AND TRY TO HANDLE IT IN A MOST FORWARD WAY, MAKE LEMONADE OUT OF LEMONS, SO TO SPEAK.

>> IN FACT, YOU, UB LAUNCHED A PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT. WE HAVE THAT PSA.

>> WHO ARE YOU ACCOUNTABLE TO? THIS IS STATE AUDITOR TOM SALMON ASKING YOU TO HELP PREVENT DUI IN VERMONT. GET A DESIGNATED DRIVER OR STAY OFF THE ROAD. VERMONT HAS HAD A DIFFICULT YEAR, AND A DUI IS PAINFUL FOR ALL. DON'T RISK IT. YOU'LL GET NAILED. IT'S A LONG ROAD BACK.

>> THAT LAST LINE THERE, "DON'T GET NAILED, IT'S IT'S A LONG WAY BACK," WHAT WAS YOUR ROAD BACK LIKE?

>> OH, IT'S A LONG ROAD BACK. IF YOU GET A DUI, YOU'RE A SECOND-CLASS CITIZEN, YOU GO TO CRASH, AND YOU HAVE NOT JUST CONSTANT REMINDERS THAT YOU DISAPPOINTED PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE, BUT YOU HAVE A LONG ROAD BACK, EVERYTHING FROM GETTING YOUR LICENSE BACK TO COMPLYING WITH ALL THE PIECES TO YOU CAN'T GO TO CANADA -- THERE'S A LOT OF REMINDERS THAT YOU HAD A SIGNIFICANT ALCOHOL EVENT, AND YOU REALLY DON'T EXPECT TO JUST GET BACK TO NORMAL FOR A LONG TIME, AND, I MEAN, WHERE YOU LITERALLY -- AGAIN, YOU HAVE NUMEROUS REMINDERS. PEOPLE STILL JOKE WITH ME. I RIDE THE BUS A LOT OF TIMES FROM ST. JOHNSBURY, AND PEOPLE WILL JOKE AND SAY "YOU DON'T HAVE YOUR LICENSE BACK YET FROM THE DUI?" AND THAT'S STILL A REMINDER. YOU HAVE TO GET BACK IN THE GAME, YOU DON'T HAVE A CHOICE, BUT PEOPLE DON'T REALIZE THAT, THEY GET IMPATIENT. IT PAINS ME TO SEE SOMEBODY GET A DUI 2 OR 3, AND TRY TO ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO GO EASY ON THEMSELVES AND GET -- BUILD THEMSELVES BACK UP AND BE OF SERVICE TO OTHERS, AND LET'S CHANGE THE CYCLE, AND HOPEFULLY THAT PSA RAISED AWARENESS.

>> WHAT POSITIVES HAVE YOU SEEN COME OUT OF THAT PSA?

>> WOW, I'VE HAD PEOPLE FROM ALL WALKS OF LIFE JUST SAYING, YOU KNOW, THANKS, OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS, WE LIKE TO THINK THAT YOU GUYS DON'T LIVE LIKE US, YOU GET SPECIAL FAVORS, SO I THINK THIS TRUST IN GOVERNMENT, WHICH HAS BEEN TESTED WITH ISSUES LIKE EMBEZZLEMENT AND OTHERS, IN SOME WAYS MAYBE THAT HAS LED TO A BETTER TRUST IN GOVERNMENT.

>> WE HAVE HAD SEVERAL HIGH-PROFILE CASES, SOME OF WHICH I'VE COVERED MYSELF. WHERE IS THE STATE HEADING IN TERMS OF EMBEZZLEMENT CASES? IS THERE ANY LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL, OR IS THIS AN ISSUE NO MATTER EDUCATION AWARENESS?

>> I THINK WE HAVE TOOLS, THANKFULLY FOR THE SCHOOL BOARD ASOSIATION HAS BOUGHT ON. WE HAVE SOME EMBEZZLEMENT PREVENTION TOOLS WHICH ARE AS SIMPLE AS HOW TO CLOSE THE GAPS. TYPICALLY IT HAS HAPPENED IN VERMONT WHERE THERE HAS BEEN PRESSURE, OPPORTUNITY, AND RATIONALIZATION IN THE FRAUD TRIANGLE, AND I SAW MANY YEARS AGO A LOT OF WEAK AUDITS, AUDITS WITH FINDINGS -- PEOPLE WEREN'T FIXING THINGS, THEY WEREN'T ADDRESSING ENVIRONMENTS. THERE IS MORE EDUCATION, MORE PEOPLE RATTING OUT OTHER PEOPLE, BECAUSE ECONOMIC TIMES DURING THIS TIME -- WHILE TIMES ECONOMICALLY ARE ROUGH, PROFIT MARGINS ARE USUALLY LOWER, BOTH IN PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SECTOR, SO THERE IS LESS AREA FOR MANIPULATION. BEFORE, WHEN PEOPLE HAD MORE OF A SLUSH FUN TO WORK WITH, THEY -- FUND TO WORK WITH, THEY COULD MOVE MORE MONEY AROUND. CLOSING THE OPPORTUNITY, INFORMING LEADERSHIP ABOUT THESE INTERNAL CONTROL -- EASY THINGS. I MEAN, WE HAD EMBEZZLERS, WE'VE DONE HUNDREDS OF TRAININGS, WE JUST DID ONE FOR THE STATE COLLEGES, USING A FORMER EMBEZZLER, AND HE SAID, LOOK, FOLKS, IF I KNEW MY BOSS WAS JUST OPENING THE BANK STATEMENT AND HE DIDN'T EVEN LOOK AT IT, HE JUST -- I KNEW HE OPENED IT, I WENT AND STOLE FROM HIM. THERE'S SO MANY OF THOSE THINGS GOING ON, BUT I THINK VERMONT IS GOING TO GET SMART. I DON'T THINK PEOPLE LIKED BEING THE NO. 1 EMBEZZLEMENT STATE IN THE COUNTRY.

>> WHAT I HEAR OVER AND OVER AGAIN IS "I JUST TRUSTED TOO MUCH," BUT VERMONTERS PRIDE THEMSELVES ON THIS TIGHT, SMALL-KNIT COMMUNITY WHERE YOU KNOW YOUR NEIGHBOR, YOU TRUST YOUR EMPLOYEES, AND THEY DON'T WANT THAT TO CHANGE. WHAT IS THE BALANCE THERE WHERE PEOPLE DON'T FEEL LIKE THEY'RE GOING TO WORK AND THEIR BOSS IS CHECKING UP ON THEM, YET THE BOSS FEELS LIKE THEY CAN TRUST THEIR EMPLOYEES?

>> YEAH, SOMEHOW YOU HAVE TO CONVEY TO YOUR WORKPLACE, LOOK, WE'RE A FAMILY BUSINESS, IF YOU STEAL FROM THE ORGANIZATION, YOU'RE STEALING FROM YOUR CO-WORKERS, WE'VE SEEN BUSINESSES CLOSE ENTIRELY, AND IT'S A TRUST-BUT-VERIFY SITUATION. AND IT'S ALSO -- INTERNAL CONTROLS ARE FOR EVERYBODY. SOMEBODY SEPARATE SHOULD BE DOING THE BANK RECONCILIATION, SOMEONE SEPARATE FROM THE DEPOSITER OF THE MONEY SHOULD BE WRITING THE CHECKS, FEEN YOU USE VOLUNTEERS. BOARDS AND NON-PROFITS, EVEN NON-PROFITS IN VERMONT -- WE'VE TRIED TO REACH INTO THEIR WORLD MORE TO BE A CATALYST FOR BETTER CONTROLS. THEY UNDERSTAND THEY NEED TO HAVE SEGREGATION OF DUTIES, AND THAT VERMONT HAS BEEN SUBJECT TO TRUSTING PEOPLE TOO MUCH. AND IN MY INTERVIEWS, AND I'M A CERTIFIED FRAUD EXAMINER, I FOUND THAT SOME VERY KIND-HEARTED SEEMING PEOPLE, I DON'T WANT TO SAY GOOD PEOPLE DID BAD THINGS, BUT IT SEEMS LIKE SOMEWHERE VERY NICE VERMONTERS GOT WORN DOWN BY HAVING STACKS OF BILLS. THIS JUNE 19TH, WE HAVE A TRAINING, WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A VICTIMS PANEL, PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN STOLEN FROM, ORGANIZATIONS, AND TALKING ABOUT HOW THEY HAVE RECOVERED BOTH EMOTIONALLY AS WELL AS FINANCIALLY AND WHAT CONTROLS THEY'VE PUT IN PLACE SENSE SO WE'RE NOT GLORIFYING THE EMBEZZLER BECAUSE WE HAVE USED THEM TO GET THE MESSAGE ACROSS, BUT FOR THOSE ENTITIES WHO HAVE BEEN RIPPED OFF, IT SHOULD BE INTERESTING. THAT'S JUNE 19TH.

>> AT THE REPUBLICAN CONVENTION, WHO IS OUT THERE INTERESTED IN YOUR SPOT, ANYBODY YOU THINK WILL TRY TO TAKE YOUR SEAT?

>> THE FIRST TWO NAMES AND THE TWO PEOPLE I HAD CONTACT WITH WERE BOTH SENATOR VINCE ALOOZY AND KEVIN MULLIN. KEVIN MULLIN HAS A BUSINESS BACKGROUND, OWNS MOVIE THEATERS AND SO ON, AND BOTH HAVE EXPERIENCE HOW THE LEGISLATURE WORKS, HOW THEY CREATE AND FUND PROGRAMS, BUT BOTH OF THEM HAVE A SINCERE INTEREST IN HOW GOVERNMENT PERFORMS, HOW WELL DO THESE PROGRAMS PERFORM. IN FACT, I'VE HAD NUMEROUS CONVERSATIONS WITH SENATOR ALUZY ABOUT GOVERNMENT PERFORMANCE AND WE'RE DOING A JOB CREATION AUDIT THAT SPURRED FROM HIS COMMITTEE. HE HAS A SINCERE INTEREST IN CONNECTING THE DOTS AND HOLDING PEOPLE ACCOUNTABLE.

>> STATE AUDITOR TOM SALMON, THANK YOU FOR JOINING US,

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