Former Vt. trooper pleads not guilty in theft investigation

Published: Mar. 23, 2023 at 6:07 AM EDT|Updated: Mar. 23, 2023 at 12:49 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - A former Vermont trooper says he didn’t steal things from a temporary storage room at the state police barracks in Williston. Giancarlo DiGenova, 44, of Essex, pleaded not guilty in court in Burlington Thursday morning.

For 13 years, Giancarlo DiGenova patrolled the state as a member of the Vermont State Police. But on Thursday morning he walked into court not as a witness but as a suspect.

The former trooper faces 20 different charges ranging from felony grand larceny to misdemeanor charges including neglect of duty, false statements, and prescription fraud.

It all started in December when fellow troopers noticed $40,000 worth of evidence in a narcotics case was missing from the property storage room.

Investigators discovered that wasn’t the only time DiGenova used his access to allegedly swipe items from the evidence locker. They say he also took two cell phones from the Berlin barracks in 2021, marking them as “destroyed,” and then trying to sell them. They say he also took a child’s ADHD medication during a domestic call last May.

Court paperwork paints a picture of DiGenova struggling with a drug problem, saying he was illegally planning and arranging to buy Adderall and Xanax while on duty. It also states that he was paid to do vehicle identification number inspections for his fiancee’s business but that he never did the work.

“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 has been alleged against Mr. DiGenova,” said Robert Kaplan, DiGenova’s lawyer.

“It does weaken the trust between community and law enforcement,” said Chittenden County State’s Attorney Sarah George, who says she worked with the former trooper prior to the allegations. “I have had a lot of cases with him over the years and I have always enjoyed working with him as a state trooper.”

George says his arrest also could create problems for all of the cases he touched. “There may be cases like a DUI case where he is the arresting officer that we will have to dismiss,” she said.

DiGenova quit the VSP in February after the investigation began. As part of his court conditions, he will receive a substance use assessment.

He is due back in court in April.

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