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CASE DISMISSED AGAINST SCHNEIDER, 3 OTHERS

Former Gov. Roy L. Schneider has paid the government approximately $50,000 under the terms of an agreement dismissing the charges against him and three of his top officials on 14 counts of fraud, conspiracy and falsification of records.
Territorial Court Judge Ive Swan Thursday morning accepted a motion to dismiss the government's case against Schneider and the three other defendants.
In a 20-minute proceeding, Douglas Sprotte, the chief prosecutor on the case, moved to dismiss the case with prejudice, meaning the government cannot bring charges in this case again.
Sprotte said that after meetings with the defense attorneys and the exchange of voluminous documentation, the two sides agreed to a dismissal in exchange for the compensation. Reliable sources said the compensation was in the neighborhood of $50,000, more than the approximately $36,000 racked up by Walter Brunner, a non-essential government contractor, after Hurricane Marilyn on a hotel room at Frenchman's Reef that was registered to Jean P. Greaux Jr., Schneider's electronic media specialist.
A joint press release by government and Schneider's lawyers said he has paid the compensation.
Meanwhile, Sprotte said the government was pushing forward with other corruption cases. He said the executive committee of the joint task force on public corruption would meet next Tuesday "to prepare the next case."
As Sprotte made his motion to dismiss "amens" arose from a crowd of Schneider supporters in Swan's courtroom.
Swan admonished the gallery, saying he would have "no rhetorical reactions from the audience."
The government realized, Sprotte told Swan, that "Title 33, section 3204 could be used to resolve this matter."
That section allows a certifying officer who knowingly certifies false documents – if it is a first offense – to be fined an amount equal to the incorrect payment.
Three of the defendants in the fraud case appeared in court: Schneider, Maureen Bryan, Schneider's executive assistant, and Alvin Battiste, former, and until last month, director of management and budget for the Governor's Office. Dean Wallace, former acting Finance commissioner was off-island and had waived his right to appear.
"Wallace won't dare file an appeal," Swan joked with Steven Brusch, Wallace's attorney.
The other defense attorneys – Joseph Arellano and Ivan Fisher for Schneider, Gary M. Alizzeo for Bryan and Leonard B. Francis on behalf of Battiste – all agreed to accept the motion.
After some discussion about the paperwork needed to officially dismiss the case, Swan ended the proceeding with a charge to the defendents to "Have a nice day."
Though the media had been invited to attend what was billed as a press conference held immediately following the court proceeding, it consisted of Attorney General Iver Stridiron reading the short joint press release. Neither Stridron nor Schneider's lawyers would answer questions.
"We are not in the business of providing a spin" on the story, Stridiron said.
Fisher also refused to answer questions as did Arellano, who said, "We are not giving statements."

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Former Gov. Roy L. Schneider has paid the government approximately $50,000 under the terms of an agreement dismissing the charges against him and three of his top officials on 14 counts of fraud, conspiracy and falsification of records.
Territorial Court Judge Ive Swan Thursday morning accepted a motion to dismiss the government's case against Schneider and the three other defendants.
In a 20-minute proceeding, Douglas Sprotte, the chief prosecutor on the case, moved to dismiss the case with prejudice, meaning the government cannot bring charges in this case again.
Sprotte said that after meetings with the defense attorneys and the exchange of voluminous documentation, the two sides agreed to a dismissal in exchange for the compensation. Reliable sources said the compensation was in the neighborhood of $50,000, more than the approximately $36,000 racked up by Walter Brunner, a non-essential government contractor, after Hurricane Marilyn on a hotel room at Frenchman's Reef that was registered to Jean P. Greaux Jr., Schneider's electronic media specialist.
A joint press release by government and Schneider's lawyers said he has paid the compensation.
Meanwhile, Sprotte said the government was pushing forward with other corruption cases. He said the executive committee of the joint task force on public corruption would meet next Tuesday "to prepare the next case."
As Sprotte made his motion to dismiss "amens" arose from a crowd of Schneider supporters in Swan's courtroom.
Swan admonished the gallery, saying he would have "no rhetorical reactions from the audience."
The government realized, Sprotte told Swan, that "Title 33, section 3204 could be used to resolve this matter."
That section allows a certifying officer who knowingly certifies false documents – if it is a first offense – to be fined an amount equal to the incorrect payment.
Three of the defendants in the fraud case appeared in court: Schneider, Maureen Bryan, Schneider's executive assistant, and Alvin Battiste, former, and until last month, director of management and budget for the Governor's Office. Dean Wallace, former acting Finance commissioner was off-island and had waived his right to appear.
"Wallace won't dare file an appeal," Swan joked with Steven Brusch, Wallace's attorney.
The other defense attorneys - Joseph Arellano and Ivan Fisher for Schneider, Gary M. Alizzeo for Bryan and Leonard B. Francis on behalf of Battiste - all agreed to accept the motion.
After some discussion about the paperwork needed to officially dismiss the case, Swan ended the proceeding with a charge to the defendents to "Have a nice day."
Though the media had been invited to attend what was billed as a press conference held immediately following the court proceeding, it consisted of Attorney General Iver Stridiron reading the short joint press release. Neither Stridron nor Schneider's lawyers would answer questions.
"We are not in the business of providing a spin" on the story, Stridiron said.
Fisher also refused to answer questions as did Arellano, who said, "We are not giving statements."