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Self-Proclaimed Chair Watlington Ejects AG’s Attorney From Controversial 1st Elections Meeting

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CHARLOTTE AMALIE — The Democrat majority on the V.I. Board of Elections pushed through a measure today at the newly-formed board’s first meeting that creates committees in each election district.

The move, which came at the end of a meeting the Republican Minority Caucus accused of being illegitimate and unlawful, could put the Board of Elections back in the courts.

That’s because the now-former district and joint elections boards were dissolved by legislation in 2017.

The two committees, one for the district of St. Croix and the other for the district of St. Thomas-St. John, will be responsible for conducting this year’s election.

Yet there’s no provision in territorial elections law that allows for the establishment of district committees under the unified, territory-wide Board of Elections.

Also during the meeting, a lawyer from the office of V.I. Attorney General Claude Earl Walker was ejected by Democrat member Arturo Watlington, who was elected Board of Elections chairman over the objections of Adelbert Bryan, ICM-St. Croix, and Republicans in the Minority Caucus.

The meeting was held at Elections System offices on St. Thomas and St. Croix simultaneously video
conferencing technology.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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