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Gov. Shumlin signs pension reform bill into law - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Gov. Shumlin signs pension reform bill into law

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MONTPELIER, Vt. -

With the stroke of a pen, Gov. Peter Shumlin Wednesday closed a major loophole in Vermont's anti-fraud laws.

The new measure allows judges to deny pensions to public employees found guilty of certain financial crimes.

The law is a response to the case of former state trooper Jim Deeghan, who bilked taxpayers out of $200,000 by logging hours he didn't work.

The governor says cases like Deeghan's are rare, but a new law is still needed.

"To reiterate, 99.99 percent of public employees work very hard to ensure that they're serving the public with extraordinary integrity. What this bill does is give us further protection," said Shumlin, D-Vermont.

A state auditor's report found no other cases of fraud similar to Deeghan's, but exposed several weaknesses in the payroll system.

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