Official says Burlington broke law on telecom

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Vermont’s public service commissioner says Burlington broke the law when it used city money to set up a telecommunications service.

But Mayor Bob Kiss says the city has done nothing illegal in setting up Burlington Telecom.

City administrative officer Jonathan Leopold said Burlington has used $17 million of city money, a violation the state’s "Certficate of Public Good" requiring the amount to be repaid in two months.

Kiss said Thursday he learned of the violation last November. Neither he nor Leopold told the City Council about it until May. The city told the state’s Public Service Board about it last month. Burlington Telecom’s license requires board permission in advance for such expenditures.

Commissioner David O’Brien says he’s troubled by statements from city officials, saying they knowingly didn’t follow the law.

Note: Information for this report came from the Burlington Free Press.

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