Responding to many phone calls regarding whether certain members of the St. Thomas/St. John Board of Elections will be arrested as a result of a vote taken during the board’s Friday meeting to arrest anyone on the district’s 2012 board that contributed to the alleged disappearance of 3,000 ballots from that year’s general election, Board Chairman Arturo Watlington Jr. said in a statement Tuesday that "no arrest is likely."
The motion that passed on a 3-1-1 vote, with five members present was "merely symbolic and an expression of the frustration and disgust of some members with the constant misrepresentation by some people regarding the 2012 General Election “because the St. Thomas/St. John Board of Election has no power or authority to arrest anyone,” Watlington said.
Board member Ivy Moses made the motion, and Moses, Diane Magras and Alecia Wells voted in favor. (See Related Link below)
The vote on that motion was one of three substantive roll calls taken during the meeting. The first being the board’s decision on a 4-1 vote to deny Roy Howard’s Sept. 28, 2015 request for an investigation and evidentiary hearing regarding the conduct and results of the 2012 General Election.
In a statement, Watlington said V.I. law requires that "any prosecution for any misconduct must be commenced within one year of the conclusion of the said election."
"No complaint for misconduct was ever lodged by anyone or received by the board, so there is nothing to investigate or conduct a hearing on. We are now at a point in time, which is some three years and one election removed from the 2012 Election and five board members, who had no role in that election. We need to move on and prepare for the 2016 Elections, which is months away," Watlington said.
The last motion, passed by acclamation without objection, directed Watlington to send a letter to Police Commissioner Delroy Richards regarding his decision to direct his officers not to remove members of the public from the Election System’s conference room during a proposed executive session at the board’s November meeting. The meeting was adjourned early after Magras announced she had to leave to attend to her personal business, breaking the quorum, Watlington said.
The next meeting of the district board will be Jan. 22.