The United States Attorney’s Office in Vermont and the FBI are investigating three troopers for creating fake vaccination cards.
The Director of the Vermont State Police, Colonel Matthew T. Birmingham, issued a statement expressing his disappointment and embarrassment.
“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. Birmingham. “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.”
“I’m embarrassed that this situation has occurred and know that it has tarnished the reputation of the Vermont State Police,” Colonel Birmingham said. “That said, the alleged criminal conduct from these troopers does not represent the values and actions of the dedicated men and women of the Vermont State Police.”
The three men — Shawn Sommers, Raymond Witkowski, and David Pfindel — have resigned. Sommers and Witkowski have worked with the department since 2016 and Pfindel since 2014.
According to the Vermont State Police, a colleague reported the troopers on August 9, 2021.
Last month, Governor Phil Scott announced a vaccination mandate for state employees that work with vulnerable populations.
“I think this is a good idea. I believe all hospitals, long-term care facilities, and other places that come into frequent contact with high-risk populations should follow suit and require the vaccine. And to help set the example, I’m announcing today that my team is working to do the same, starting with certain state institutions like the Veteran’s Home, correctional facilities, and our psychiatric hospital,” Governor Scott said.
“We have an obligation to protect the most vulnerable under our care. We’re going to take one step at a time.”