Capitol Beat: Pieciak named DFR commissioner

Capitol Beat: Pieciak named DFR commissioner

EB-5 Visa, EB5 Visa, EB-5 Investment

A state worker involved the investigation of the Jay Peak/Q Burke EB-5 scandal has been appointed to head up the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation.

Gov. Peter Shumlin appointed Michael Pieciak as commissioner of the DFR. Pieciak replaces Susan Donegan, whose last day on the job was June 30.

Pieciak was previously the deputy commissioner of the DFR’s Securities Division, a role that included an investigation in coordination with the Federal Securities and Exchange that led to charges being filed against Ariel Quiros and Bill Stenger in conjunction with EB-5 projects at Jay Peak and Q Burke ski resorts.

Pieciak has been called as an expert witness as the federal case unfolds in federal court in Miami. 

“Susan Donegan left big shoes to fill, but I cannot think of someone who is more prepared to lead DFR at this critical time than Mike,” Shumlin said. “Mike’s intimate knowledge of the Jay Peak EB-5 investigation undertaken by the state is crucial as the case continues to work its way through the legal process. In addition to his good work on that front, Mike is a proven leader who will serve the department well over these next few months.”


Chittenden County Sen. David Zuckerman has picked up the endorsement of the Vermont Chapter of the Sierra Club.

The group announced its endorsement in the race for lieutenant governor Thursday in a statement from National Sierra Club President Aaron Mair.

“Senator David Zuckerman’s exemplary track record in leading both grassroots and legislative movements on environmental and social issues has earned him a rare Sierra Club primary endorsement. Zuckerman’s courage to challenge Monsanto and Exxon Mobil is a beacon of what grassroots democracy is all about,” Mair said.

David Ellenbogen, chairman of the Vermont chapter’s political committee, said Zuckerman, who serves as both a Progressive and Democrat in the Senate, has worked on the issues important to the organization.

“Senator Zuckerman has a long history of leadership as a grassroots advocate working with Vermonters for equitable solutions to reduce Vermont’s carbon footprint and improve our working landscape,” Ellenbogen said.

Zuckerman said in his own statement that he is proud to receive the endorsement.

“It is wonderful to be recognized for my work as an outspoken advocate on numerous environmental issues over the last two decades,” he said. “It is great to be recognized for my leadership and I am very grateful for the work the Sierra Club is doing to engage their members in my campaign.”

Zuckerman is facing House Speaker Shap Smith and Burlington Rep. Kesha Ram in a Democratic primary.

More backing

Matt Dunne, one of three Democratic candidate for governor, announced this week that more than six dozen current, former and “future” state legislators have endorsed him.

Dunne held a State House news conference Thursday to highlight those backing him, some of whom he served with during his 11 years as a representative and then senator. Thursday’s announcement included several first-time candidates for the Legislature.

“I am so humbled by the outpouring of support we’ve received this week, but this is about much more than our campaign,” Dunne said. “This is a movement of people who are energized and ready to work hard for the progressive values that will make Vermont stronger: raising the minimum wage to a living wage, universal healthcare and banning corporate money from our elections.”


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