In the second day of the Ann Abramson trial, jurors heard testimony Tuesday that Abramson pushed hard for a quick turnaround on vendor payments.
Abramson, a former Public Works commissioner who owns businesses on St. Croix, is charged with conspiracy, conflict of interest and tax fraud, among other charges.
Former Deputy Finance Commissioner Letisha Austin testified that Abramson as commissioner often inquired about payments to the vendors Abramson had hired, according to the Independent.
Keith Webster, an accountant for Public Works, echoed Austin's testimony, saying Abramson was anxious to get vendors' payments made quickly.
Webster testified that Abramson did ask him about payment to St. Croix contractor Berthill Thomas, who pleaded guilty Monday to making false statements in connection with the charges against Abramson and himself.
Thomas and Abramson were accused in a 15-count indictment in July of conspiracy, bribery and conflict of interest.
The jury in an earlier trial deadlocked on nine charges against Abramson; Thomas was convicted of three charges.
Another contractor, Dwayne Fergus, testified Tuesday that after being paid for work done for the government after Hurricane Marilyn, he then wrote a check for $125,000 to Abramson for equipment he purchased from her company.
The government claims Abramson didn't declare the money on her income tax.
The trial continues Wednesday.