Gov. Peter Shumlin on Thursday removed Jay Peak Resort president Bill Stenger from his Council of Economic Advisors.
The move came three weeks after federal and state officials charged Stenger and his business partner, Ariel Quiros, with misappropriating more than $200 million worth of foreign investment raised for a series of Northeast Kingdom development projects. Stenger and Quiros have both denied the charges.
Shumlin spokesman and deputy chief of staff Scott Coriell said the governor removed Stenger from the volunteer advisory board after Seven Days requested an updated copy of its membership.
“They serve at the pleasure of the governor,” Coriell said. “I became aware that he was on the list when you made your request. He shouldn’t have been on there, so as a consequence we updated the list.”
Coriell said Stenger should have been removed from the council when the state filed civil fraud charges against the men.
The governor’s council appears to be a largely ceremonial entity. According to Coriell, it has neither met nor corresponded since July 2014. The spokesman said he did not know what the council’s purpose was, nor why it had not met in nearly two years.
“I’m not going to comment on the meetings or when they happen or why they happen,” Coriell said.
Current members include University of Vermont Health Network vice president Theresa Alberghini DiPalma, GlobalFoundries senior location executive Janette Bombardier, Green Mountain Realty owner Dagyne Canney, Shumlin business partner Larry Cassidy, Greater Burlington Industrial Corporation president Frank Cioffi, retired KPMG managing partner David Coates, former administration secretary Kathy Hoyt, Burlington Electric Department general manager Neale Lunderville, Green Mountain Power president and CEO Mary Powell, retired GMP executive Steve Terry and Swanton Lumber Company president Gordon Winters. The council’s chair is Morgan Stanley financial adviser and longtime gubernatorial confidante Harlan Sylvester.
Asked Thursday about Shumlin’s decision, Stenger said, “Until these circumstances are resolved, I certainly understand.”