Lottery employee Loriel L. Weeks pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges of arson, burglary, grand larceny and embezzlement.
Weeks is charged with setting fire to the V.I. Lottery’s office on Veterans Drive in March 2010. At that time, emergency units responding to the scene found a small fire in one of the back rooms and officials said that some "operational papers" were destroyed, while Lottery Director Conrad "Ricky" Francois said money was also stolen from the agency’s vault.
Weeks was arraigned Thursday in Magistrate Court on St. Thomas, and requested a speedy trial after entering her plea. The case was assigned to V.I. Superior Court Judge James Carroll III.
Weeks was a Lottery employee at the time of the fire, making $39,750 per year. During her advice of rights hearing last month, she revealed she still works for the agency and is receiving a full paycheck while on administrative leave with pay.
Last month Weeks was released on a $25,000 unsecured bond, on the condition that she make all court appearances, report to her probation officer at least once a week, doesn’t break any additional laws and maintains her employment.
Michelle Baker is Weeks’ attorney.