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Bomb threat at state building puts state on defensive

MONTPELIER, Vt. --A bomb threat from an apparently disgruntled taxpayer wasn't enough to prompt evacuation of the state office building where it was found, angering some workers.

The threat, contained in a letter found taped to a wall in an elevator at 133 State Street on Friday, complained about paying money to the state Tax Department and said two bombs were hidden in the building. No device was found by authorities who searched.

"I just can't explain to you the confusion this cause," said Elisabeth Emmons, a Tax Department data technician. "It was a panic."

Jason Smith, director of security for the state Buildings and General Services Department, defended the state's decision not to evacuate the building. The credibility of the threat was taken into consideration, as was the fact that much of the building requires an employee access card to gain entry, he said.

"Just running out of the building is not necessarily the safest thing," Smith said. "If I'm the bomber and I really want to hurt people, I put the bomb outside the building."

Smith consulted with Montpelier police and said he would turn the etter over to police to investigate.

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Information from: The Burlington Free Press, http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com

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