An investigation by the V.I. Justice Department into complaints about the territory’s 2012 elections raises questions about potential conflicts of interest and how they could affect the outcome of the probe. Two weeks ago, V.I. Attorney General Vincent Frazer announced that he had set up a panel of his senior staff to look into a multitude of voter complaints about the territory’s 2012 elections.
When The Daily News requested a copy of the email Frazer sent to notify the Election System and the Boards of Elections about the investigation, Frazer would not release it, citing attorney-client privilege.
In an interview, Frazer confirmed that he does indeed consider the territory’s Boards of Elections his clients, in that an attorney from the Justice Department represents them. This leaves the Justice Department in the position of investigating its own clients.
Asked whether he considered that a potential conflict of interest, Frazer said: “I’m not investigating them for wrongdoing. I’m investigating them to see what transpired.”
The fact that the V.I. Justice Department will be investigating its own clients raises questions about the impartiality of the investigation, as well as the department’s obligations to the public versus its obligations to its clients.
Frazer said that the attorney who represents the Elections boards will not be involved in any way in the investigation.
“I am beholden to the law,” Frazer said. “We conduct an investigation, and we submit our report to the Boards of Elections.”