GOVERNMENT & POLICE NEWS

Woman Charged with Forgery, Check Crimes

Officers from the V.I. Police Department's Economic Crimes Unit Friday arrested Tasha Forbes, 41, of Anna’s Retreat, and charged…

Audio Galleries

Half a dozen young people, local artists and music producers have created a peace song for Carnival 2014. To read more about the song, click here.
 

 
Currently:Click for Saint Thomas, Virgin Islands Forecast

Source Picks

Beach Advisory for July 27-31

The Department of Planning and Natural Resources (DPNR) announces that the Beach Water Quality Monitoring Program, which evaluates weekly water quality at popular swimming beaches throughout the territory, advises the public of the following:

READ ENTIRE ARTICLE
2015-07-31 16:23:23
Wave Paver Top Boat, Davis Top Angler in July Open Billfish Tournament

The team aboard Wave Paver made the most of every bite to capture the Top Boat title in the 52nd annual July Open Billfish Tournament. The boat's owner captured the Give Him Line award.

READ ENTIRE ARTICLE
2015-07-31 01:02:38
WAPA: New Frederiksted Water Line to Address Discoloration Complaints

According to WAPA, the completion of a new water line to supply the Frederiksted dock will once again allow the V.I. Port Authority to sell water to visiting cruise ships on St. Croix.

READ ENTIRE ARTICLE
2015-07-31 00:15:02
Local news — St. Thomas
DLCA OFFICIAL CHARGED WITH LICENSING FRAUD

March 11, 2002 - Jamila Russell, a Licensing and Consumer Affairs official and well-known Democratic Party member on St. Croix, is free on $25,000 bail after being arrested for allegedly issuing five illegal professional licenses.
Russell, 30, special assistant to the DLCA assistant commissioner for boards and commissions, was arrested on a warrant Friday at her second job as a human resources manager at Triangle Construction, a Hovensa subcontractor. She appeared before St. Croix Territorial Court Judge Edgar Ross for her advice-of-rights hearing Monday. Russell is charged with filing or records of false instruments, fraudulent claims upon the government and conspiracy. A trial date has yet to be set.
In 2000, Russell allegedly issued a master electrician license to Glenroy Swanston; electrical contractor licenses to Peter John and Michael Dujon; and construction contractor licenses to Paris Terrell and Solomon Johnson, according to an affidavit filed by Abbigail Gunther, an investigator with the V.I. Inspector General's Office. None of the men had passed the required examinations to hold the respective licenses.
Licensing and Consumer Affairs Commissioner Andrew Rutnik said an internal investigation into Russell's activities began last year and then was turned over to the Inspector General's Office. Russell is currently suspended without pay from her job with the department, Rutnik said.
In a sworn affidavit from last November, Russell, who has worked at DLCA since 1996, admitted to issuing the licenses at the behest of a man named Claytus Prevost. In her affidavit, Russell said that in a conversation with Prevost in late November, she told him that she was called by Rutnik and accused of receiving money for issuing the licenses.

Advertising (skip)

"I inquired as to certain monies that allegedly were paid for these licenses," Russell said in her statement. "[Prevost] did not respond. I also told him I wasn't going to jail for anyone."
Rutnik said Monday that Russell never admitted to taking anything for issuing the licenses. He declined to comment further on the case because it was still being investigated by the Inspector General's office.
Rutnik said the DLCA's computer system, which was installed at the onset of the Y2K scare, alerted officials to the illegally issued licenses. He said another possible case of fraud is being investigated.
"No one can issue a license without logging on and putting in certain information," he said. "We have security measures built in."
Prior to the new system, all licenses were logged by hand. Since the DLCA receives more than 20,000 licenses applications a year, the opportunity for fraud was rife, Rutnik said. Now, special computer software tracks everything, he said. "If it's in the system," he said, "we're going to get you."

Read more stories in Local news»»