Embezzlement case prompts changes from Vt. officials - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Embezzlement case prompts changes from Vt. officials

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Lisa Peduzzi Lisa Peduzzi
MONTPELIER, Vt. - A high-profile state embezzlement case is prompting changes from Vermont's top officials.

Lisa Peduzzi, 51, of Plainfield, is charged with stealing at least $70,000 from the state in the last year. Authorities say the former claims examiner with the Vermont Office of Risk Management bought big ticket items with state of Vermont checks and covered her tracks with phony insurance claims. They've found 19 so far.

Protocols allowed Peduzzi to investigate claims and cut checks under $15,000 without a manager's approval.

Vermont's attorney general called it a flawed system and the governor says he's already tightened oversight.

"We need to do better. We have to be more vigilant. You want to be trusting of the people you work with, but you want to make sure you got checks and balances in place," said Bill Sorrell, D-Vt. Attorney General.

"Immediately I have said no more $15,000 and under checks going out in the state of Vermont with only one person overseeing it," said Gov. Peter Shumlin, D-Vermont. "So that's been fixed, but the third question I've asked is how do we make sure that we have protocols in place that would help us catch someone like this in the future?"

Shumlin now says every payout will require manager approval. He's also promising a thorough investigation, allocating resources for police to scrutinize every transaction Peduzzi made during her seven-year tenure.

Related Stories:

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Vt. governor addresses allegations of stolen taxpayer money

Did state miss warning signs in employee fraud case?

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