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Michael Pieciak, financial regulation commissioner who led Vermont's COVID modeling, to step down

Michael Pieciak, the state's commissioner of financial regulation, stands in front of a stack of boxes and filing cabinets.
Hilary Niles
/
For VPR
Commissioner of Financial Regulation Michael Pieciak, who oversaw the modeling of COVID-19 trends in Vermont over the first two years of the pandemic, announced he will step down on May 16.

A top Scott administration official who led the state's modeling of COVID-19 over the past two years will step down next month.

Michael Pieciak has led Vermont's Department of Financial Regulation since 2017, a role in which he oversaw the financial services industry and secured multimillion dollar settlements with insurance companies and financial firms. In a statement announcing his move, Pieciak said that the department brought $13 million back to Vermont consumers through settlements during his tenure.

Pieciak has also presided over the winddown of the Vermont Regional Center, the state-run office that oversaw EB-5 projects. Over several years, Pieciak pushed back against the federal government's attempt to abruptly shut down the regional center's operations, arguing instead for the office to ramp down gradually.

Prior to his role leading the department, Pieciak was its deputy commissioner under former Gov. Peter Shumlin, when he was part of the investigation that uncovered EB-5 fraud involving several economic development projects in the Northeast Kingdom.

More from VPR: Reporter debrief: DFR Commissioner Michael Pieciak says EB-5 fraudsters should get jail time

But Pieciak's most visible role in recent years was far outside the financial world. In the Scott administration's regular press conferences, he laid out the trajectory of the pandemic with a weekly view of how cases, hospitalizations and other trends might impact the state.

Pieciak plans to step down on May 16. Deputy Commissioner Kevin Gaffney will take over the department on an interim basis.

Have questions, comments or tips? Send us a message or get in touch with reporter Henry Epp:

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