Shumlin: Markowitz plantgate not a firing offense - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Shumlin: Markowitz plantgate not a firing offense

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MONTPELIER, Vt. -

Governor Peter Shumlin calls a decision to rescue house plants from a flooded office complex a lapse in judgement, but not a firing offense.

Two days after Tropical Storm Irene, Fish and Wildlife employees removed the plants from the Waterbury office of Natural Resources Secretary Deb Markowitz and delivered them to her home. The report from the Associated Press notes the incident could be seen as the sort of abuse of power that would violate state policy. But Governor Shumlin said it's just an example of a bad decision made in the chaos after the storm and not grounds for dismissal.

"That is a radical over reaction -- after Irene we made some good judgements, some not so good days. You can't expect anyone in state service to occasionally make a judgement that is not the best -- I suspect this was one of them," he said.

Markowitz says she never asked for the favor and Fish and Wildlife Commissioner Patrick Berry says it was his decision.

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