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3 Vt. troopers resign in connection with fake COVID vaccination card scheme

Published: Sep. 7, 2021 at 5:40 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 7, 2021 at 7:05 PM EDT
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WATERBURY, Vt. (WCAX) - Three Vermont state troopers have resigned in connection with a fake COVID vaccination card scheme.

The Vermont State Police say Shawn Sommers and Raymond Witkowski submitted their resignations on Aug. 10 after another trooper raised concerns about their conduct. David Pfindel resigned effective Sept. 3 after an investigation by the Vermont Department of Public Safety.

The three former troopers are suspected of having participated in the creation of fraudulent COVID-19 vaccination cards, which might be a violation of federal law. The FBI is investigating.

Vt. Troopers Shawn Sommers, Raymond Witkowski and David Pfindel have resigned in connection...
Vt. Troopers Shawn Sommers, Raymond Witkowski and David Pfindel have resigned in connection with a fake COVID vaccination card scheme.(Courtesy: Vt. State Police)

In a statement, Col. Matthew Birmingham, the director of the Vermont State Police, said the accusations involve an extraordinary level of misconduct and he could not be more upset or disappointed.

“If these allegations are proved to be true, it is reprehensible that state troopers would manipulate vaccination cards in the midst of a pandemic, when being vaccinated is one of the most important steps anyone can take to keep their community safe from COVID-19,” Birmingham said. “I’m embarrassed that this situation has occurred and know that it has tarnished the reputation of the Vermont State Police.”

Vermont Public Safety Commissioner Michael Schirling said: “Based on an initial internal review, we do not believe there is anything more the state police could have done to prevent this from occurring. As soon as other troopers became aware of this situation, they raised the allegations internally, and commanders took swift and decisive action to hold these individuals accountable and report this matter to federal authorities.”

Due to the ongoing FBI investigation, state police say they were unable to release information about the probe until Tuesday. They say they also will not be able to comment further because of the ongoing probe.

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