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Vt. auditor says state board overstepped its authority

Published: Aug. 24, 2020 at 3:26 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 24, 2020 at 3:50 PM EDT
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - A new report from Vermont's auditor says a state economic development organization overstepped statutory boundaries in giving out an award.

It all stems from when California-based company Marvell bought Avera Semiconductor, a subsidiary of GlobalFoundries, back in the fall. Some 300 people worked for Marvell at the GlobalFoundries plant in Essex Junction.

The state awarded Marvell a $5.3 million Vermont Employment Growth Incentive grant to keep them from leaving the state. Marvell then laid off 78 employees.

Auditor Doug Hoffer, a frequent critic of the VEGI program, says there was no evidence Marvell was going to leave Vermont and the Vermont Economic Progress Council overstepped its statutory authority in awarding the grant.

“Even the title of the program is the Vermont Employment Growth Incentive. There are no authorizations in statute that are rewarding the company for keeping the jobs it already had. That would be a very different program,” said Hoffer, D-Vt. Auditor.

Vermont Economic Progress Council leaders responded saying they're concerned that Hoffer has raised serious allegations in the report without any clear evidence to support the allegations.

Click here to read the auditor’s report.

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