US Virgin Islands Senator Indicted for Alleged Role in Bribery Scheme

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - November 13, 2012

Above: the legislature building in Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas, USVI

By the Caribbean Journal staff

A federal grand jury in St Thomas has indicted US Virgin Islands Sen. Alvin Williams, Jr with operating and participating in a criminal enterprise that included bribery, mail fraud and wire fraud, according to US Attorney for the District of the Virgin Islands Ronald Sharpe.

Two of Williams’ staff members, including Kim Blackett, were also charged in the indictment.

The indictment was announced by Sharpe and several federal officials, including Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent-in-Charge Joseph Campbell, Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent-in-Charge Eric Barnard, among other members of the local Public Corruption Task Force.

“The prosecution of public corruption is a top priority of the US Attorney’s Office,” Sharpe said. “It is a breach of the public trust for public officials to use their office for personal gain.”

Campbell said that, despite previous indictments of law enforcement officials and other public officials, “some individuals continue their efforts to use public office for private financial gain.”

The indictment alleged that Williams gave the Commissioner of the Virgin Islands Department of Public Works $10,000 in cash in September 2009 in an attempt to bribe the commissioner with regard to granting future work for Ace Development, a company in which the Senator had an interest.

The indictment also alleged that Williams solicited a bribe from the developers of the Raphune Vista housing project in St Thomas.

In September 2008, Williams allegedly solicited and received a bribe of $10,000 in campaign contributions from the developers of the Tutu Park wind turbine project in exchange for his influence and promotion of legislation in support of the wind turbine project.

The indictment also charged that from January 2008 to October 2011 Williams and Kim Blackett, a staff member, defrauded the US Virgin Islands government by using legislative and public funds for doing non-legislative work in pursuing an on-line university degree for Williams at the University of Phoenix.

The proceeds of Williams’ alleged activities total more than $1.12 million, according to the indictment.

Williams was arrested on Thursday.

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