June 4, 2004 – The scheduling of a meeting of the Government Operations Committee on the official Senate calendar for 10 a.m. Friday on St. Thomas proved to be an error on the part of the Legislature's Journal Division.
Shaniqua Garnett, legislative director for Sen. Shawn-Michael Malone, who chairs the committee, said her boss had not called such a meeting and that the Journal Division had scheduled it by mistake.
The calendar called for the committee to hold a hearing on a bill that would remove the Motor Vehicle Bureau from within the Police Department, making it a separate agency. The committee met Wednesday evening on St. Croix to take testimony on the bill, which was introduced by Sen. Adlah "Foncie" Donastorg. However, no vote could be taken on the measure because of lack of a quorum.
In testimony on Wednesday, Lawrence Olive, bureau director, spoke in favor of the bill. (See "Motor Vehicle Bureau Chief Makes Case for Autonomy".)
The committee had its first hearing on the bill on May 4, on St. Thomas. At that meeting, Assistant Police Commissioner James McCall, representing Commissioner Elton Lewis, said the Police Department does not favor making bureau a separate agency.
According to Garnett, the bill will be put to a vote at the next committee meeting, scheduled for June 16.
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