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November 18, 2009

State Auditor to Host Wide-Ranging Press Conference Friday

State Auditor Tom Salmon announced today he is hosting a press conference Friday to answer a wide range of topics — from revelations of past personal financial troubles to his recent arrest for driving while under the influence.

The auditor also plans to talk about how his office is responding to the ongoing state budget challenges, what efforts his office is undertaking to save the state money, and how the projected budgetary shortfall of $88 million can be faced.

The press conference is scheduled for 1 p.m. in the Cedar Creek Room at the Vermont State House.

Salmon said he also expects to take questions on his DUI, his comments at a recent unemployment insurance hearing, and how he personally plans to proceed as a result of the recent revelations.

On Friday night, Salmon took three employees and their spouses out for dinner to celebrate two promotions and one pay grade increase. Salmon paid for the dinners himself.

On his way home he was stopped by Vermont State Police after failing to put on his turn signal while making a right-hand turn onto Towne Hill Road in Montpelier. When asked by police Salmon said he had been drinking — red wine — and was found to have a blood alcohol content of .086. The legal BAC limit in Vermont is .08.

"I didn't protest anything," he said.

Salmon was handcuffed, taken into custody for suspicion of driving under the influence and issued a citation to appear in Vermont District Court in Barre on December 3. He will likely lose his license for 90 days and have to undergo alcohol counseling.

As "Fair Game" reported last week, In 2002, before he left Los Angeles to return to Vermont, Salmon was sued for failing to repay nearly $30,000 to his credit union and two credit card companies. In L.A., he worked as an English teacher and part-time accountant.

According to court records, Salmon took out a $20,000 loan in 1999 from the California Credit Union to help pay off four different credit card balances totaling nearly $23,000. He defaulted on that loan just three years later and stopped making payments on two credit cards.

When he was sued in 2002, Salmon owed about $12,225 to the credit union, as well as $12,200 on one credit card and $5000 on another. Total balance due: roughly $29,000. Creditors also sought damages to cover court costs and legal fees.

Salmon paid off those debts by early 2007, just after he was sworn in as state auditor. And, as a Democrat. Earlier this year, Salmon, the son of Democratic Governor Tom Salmon, jumped ship and became a Republican.

"I did not leave the Democratic Party," said Salmon back in September. "The party left me and tens of thousands of others in a reunion with the Progressive Party."

He defaulted on that loan just three years later and stopped making payments on two credit cards.

Sounds like he should audit himself.

I'm trying to imagine my boss giving me a raise then taking me out for dinner to celebrate.

Bad week for Mr. Salmon last week, probably not going to get any better.
I urge Sen Brock to run for State auditor, Lt. Gov. and state senator. He is capable of holding all 3 positions at one time, except their is a law against that. But hey contact Bob Kiss he would find away around the law.

I think someone should investigate the personnel practices at the auditor's office. Two promotions and one pay grade increase when upper level employees in other departments have seen their wages frozen and lower level employees are being shown the door?! Something doesn't add up here. How 'bout it Shay, can you do a little sniffing around?

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