A former Vermont State Police trooper pleaded 'not guilty' on charges that he used his position to steal personal property from storage areas that he had access to as a police officer.
Giancarlo DiGenova, 44, of Essex, was arraigned on Thursday in Burlington, according to WPTZ. The Vermont Troopers’ Association, which previously represented him, said it no longer does and has no comment about the case.
"It's important to remember that charges are merely accusations, that there is a long road ahead to get to the bottom of everything that's been alleged against Mr. DiGenova," said DiGenova’s representation, Robert Kaplan, to WPTZ.
In a statement, Col. Matthew Birmingham, head of the Vermont State Police, called DiGenova’s alleged actions “an extraordinary betrayal of the public’s trust” said people were right to be outraged.
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“I also want you to know that the system worked as well as it can when someone is determined to commit crimes by abusing their power and trust,” Birmingham said. “The former trooper’s actions were uncovered by his peers, who reported him to supervisors.”
In addition to a lengthy and comprehensive investigation that led to the charges against DiGenova, the state police has reviewed its policies and procedures to increase oversight and maximize accountability.
DiGenova started as a trooper in 2009. He was suspended in December after it was discovered that a bag containing more than $40,000 in valuables belonging to a person taken into custody could not be located. He resigned from the state police last month.
Among the missing items was a $14,000 Rolex watch, diamond stud earrings, a designer wallet and keychain. The watch was recovered at the Massachusetts home of a relative of DiGenova’s. The rest of the property remains missing, police said.
The investigation began after another trooper, who knew about property having gone missing, reported that DiGenova had shown a Rolex he claimed to have bought online.
During the investigation, investigators learned of additional property missing from storage areas DiGenova allegedly accessed. In one case he is accused of taking prescription pills prescribed to a juvenile.