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Superintendent charged with embezzlement

VERGENNES — Vergennes police on Friday cited former Addison Northwest Supervisory Union Superintendent Thomas F. O’Brien for embezzling, a charge they said stems from “directing unauthorized payment of over $4,000 for unused vacation time to himself upon his retirement date.”
O’Brien is scheduled to be arraigned in Addison Superior Court, criminal division, on Feb. 22.
O’Brien retired at the end of June 2014 at the age of 66 after serving 13 years at ANwSU. A former Vermont Superintendent of the Year, he was one of the longest-serving superintendents in the state when he stepped down; an average tenure is about four years. Under his watch, district-wide contracts were established for teaching and support staff for the first time.
But since his retirement questions have arisen about accounting under his and the former ANwSU business manager’s watch, specifically on how reporting was done on federal grant funding and on supplying necessary information to auditing firms in a timely manner. Vergennes Union High School has also faced a budget deficit of more than $700,000 that accrued before 2014, largely due to inadequate special education funding. 

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