Wednesday, October 27, 2021
HomePoliticsFBI probes Vermont state police troopers in Covid vaccination card scheme

FBI probes Vermont state police troopers in Covid vaccination card scheme

Shawn Sommers, David Pfindel and Raymond WitkowskiVermont State PoliceThe FBI is investigating three now-former Vermont State Police troopers after an internal probe by the state agency found that the men were suspected of involvement in a scheme to create fake Covid-19 vaccination cards, State Police said.State Police said the agency referred the matter to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Burlington, Vermont, because of possible violations of federal laws.CNBC PoliticsRead more of CNBC’s politics coverage:”The accusations in this case involve an extraordinary level of misconduct — a criminal violation of the law — and I could not be more upset and disappointed,” said Col. Matthew Birmingham, head of the State Police.”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 in a written statement.Two of the former cops, Shawn Sommers and Raymond Witkowski, who had both joined the police in July 2016, submitted their resignations on Aug. 10 after another trooper raised concerns with supervisors about their alleged conduct, according to State Police.The third ex-cop, David Pfindel, who had been hired in early 2014, resigned Friday after the internal probe by the State Police.That probe found the three were “suspected of having varying roles in the creation of fraudulent COVID-19 vaccination cards, which may be a violation of federal law,” according to the agency.State Police did not release details of what the troopers are suspected of doing.CNBC was unable to reach any of the former troopers for comment.A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office confirmed the State Police had referred the findings of their probe to prosecutors but declined to comment beyond that.An FBI spokeswoman told CNBC in an email, “In accordance with [Department of Justice] policy, I’m not able to comment on an ongoing investigation.”

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