Former Johnson road foreman pleads guilty to embezzlement

Hugh Albright, the former road foreman in Johnson, pleaded guilty last week to one felony count of embezzlement in an official capacity and three misdemeanor counts of embezzlement.

Albright was fired by the town in August 2021, and subsequently charged with multiple counts of larceny and embezzlement.
Lamoille County State’s Attorney Todd Shove’s office did not return a request for comment. Albright will be sentenced at a later date.

The town determined that Albright had embezzled over $14,000, mostly by buying items and equipment with town funds, which he kept for his own personal use.
In an extensive investigation, the Lamoille County Sheriff’s Department determined that Albright had stolen or inappropriately taken items such as a vehicle jack, pickup truck tires, bar stools, a hydroseeder, a chainsaw and a leaf blower, among other things. He also took an excavator rented by the town for his own personal use.

Town administrators were tipped off by images and video Albright posted on his personal social media accounts. Though Johnson town manager Brian Story had issued warnings to Albright about misappropriating town funds and equipment, his behavior continued.

“I take full responsibility for my actions. What I did was wrong, and I regret doing so immensely. I’ve embarrassed myself, my family and lost the trust of everyone who knows me. My poor decision-making has cost me my career and possibly my marriage,” Albright said in an email to the News & Citizen after his initial arrest, a statement police later used in their arresting document.

He later sent a similarly apologetic letter to the Johnson Selectboard and promised to repay the town.

Albright eventually confessed to the purchase of over 70 items with town funds for personal use, according to the sheriff’s department.
Albright did not respond to a request for comment following his guilty plea.

Felony embezzlement in an official capacity can carry a prison sentence of up to 10 years along with a fine of up to $1,000. Each count of embezzlement comes with up to one year in prison along with a fine of up to $1,000.