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STRIDIRON SAYS PROSECUTIONS NOT POLITICAL

Attorney General Iver Stridiron has denied any political or ulterior motive behind the government's effort to prosecute former Gov. Roy L. Schneider and others on fraud charges. Nor is Gov. Charles W.Turnbull taking any public pleasure in the pending criminal proceedings.
Stridiron's remarks, the first since the charges were filed against Schneider a week ago, came during an appearance on a WVWI Radio One talk show Wednesday.
"We briefed (Turnbull) on the formation of the public corruption task force and advised him that one of the cases to come up would be that of the former governor," Stridiron said. "Gov. Turnbull was not happy about it."
Stridiron reiterated a statement made earlier that the current case against the former governor is only the first of many to come, and hinted that future cases will involve larger amounts of public funds.
"If you are complaining now about the case against the former governor, you are going to complain for a long time" to come, he said.
"The community ought to be satisfied that we are not sweeping these cases under the rug," Stridirion said.
He noted that he is a childhood associate of Schneider's, as he attempted to dispel any notion that anything was going on other than an attempt to enforce the law.
"I grew up across the street from Roy Schneider," Stridiron said. "I don't have an axe to grind with Gov. Schneider; his sisters practically raised me from a young child."
Of the charge against Schneider, it was a case where investigators brought him the outcome of their probe, he said, and although he sent it back three times for additional work, it is one that cannot be ignored. "This case I believe is at a point where it has prosecutorial merit," Stridiron said.
Schneider and three members of his administration have been named in a 14-count criminal information alleging that they provided false information in order to pay for hotel rooms with public funds. Stridiron is contending that non-government employees occupied rooms — one for six months — at the Marriott Frenchman's Reef at the government's expense after Hurricane Marilyn in 1995. Schneider has countered that all publicly paid accomnodations were for essential employees needed on a 24-hour basis whose homes had been destroyed by the catastrophic storm.
Schneider and the three others charged — Alvin Battiste, Maureen Bryan and Dean Wallace — are expected to be arraigned in Territorial Court on Thursday, March 2.

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Attorney General Iver Stridiron has denied any political or ulterior motive behind the government's effort to prosecute former Gov. Roy L. Schneider and others on fraud charges. Nor is Gov. Charles W.Turnbull taking any public pleasure in the pending criminal proceedings.
Stridiron's remarks, the first since the charges were filed against Schneider a week ago, came during an appearance on a WVWI Radio One talk show Wednesday.
"We briefed (Turnbull) on the formation of the public corruption task force and advised him that one of the cases to come up would be that of the former governor," Stridiron said. "Gov. Turnbull was not happy about it."
Stridiron reiterated a statement made earlier that the current case against the former governor is only the first of many to come, and hinted that future cases will involve larger amounts of public funds.
"If you are complaining now about the case against the former governor, you are going to complain for a long time" to come, he said.
"The community ought to be satisfied that we are not sweeping these cases under the rug," Stridirion said.
He noted that he is a childhood associate of Schneider's, as he attempted to dispel any notion that anything was going on other than an attempt to enforce the law.
"I grew up across the street from Roy Schneider," Stridiron said. "I don't have an axe to grind with Gov. Schneider; his sisters practically raised me from a young child."
Of the charge against Schneider, it was a case where investigators brought him the outcome of their probe, he said, and although he sent it back three times for additional work, it is one that cannot be ignored. "This case I believe is at a point where it has prosecutorial merit," Stridiron said.
Schneider and three members of his administration have been named in a 14-count criminal information alleging that they provided false information in order to pay for hotel rooms with public funds. Stridiron is contending that non-government employees occupied rooms -- one for six months -- at the Marriott Frenchman's Reef at the government's expense after Hurricane Marilyn in 1995. Schneider has countered that all publicly paid accomnodations were for essential employees needed on a 24-hour basis whose homes had been destroyed by the catastrophic storm.
Schneider and the three others charged -- Alvin Battiste, Maureen Bryan and Dean Wallace -- are expected to be arraigned in Territorial Court on Thursday, March 2.