V.I. Superior Court Judge Harold Willocks has issued a warrant for the arrest of Elections Supervisor Caroline Fawkes, after she failed to appear Monday at a court hearing for which she had been subpoenaed to offer testimony and provide documents to the court. The hearing stems from the V.I. Superior Court case in which Sen. Nereida Rivera-O’Reilly has challenged the St. Croix Elections Board’s recount of votes cast for Sen. Alicia Hansen, calling the entire process illegal. Calls made by The Daily News to Fawkes’ cellphone on Monday went unanswered. In a brief hearing last week in the case, Fawkes had been given a subpoena to come to court Monday and to bring documents, including Joint Board of Elections motion sheets and attendance records for certain dates pertaining to the General Election.
On Monday, attorney Joel Holt, who represents Rivera-O’Reilly, and attorney Lee Rohn, who represents Hansen and filed to intervene in the case, told the court that they both had given Fawkes a summons to come to court with the documents. However, Rohn told the court that Fawkes indicated to her that she had already made plans to be off-island and was not coming to court. Willocks then issued the bench warrant for Fawkes’ arrest on a contempt charge and set bail at $5,000.
The district board approved requests to recount votes for Hansen, Sen. Diane Capehart and Board of Elections candidate Epiphane Joseph, who each made unsuccessful bids for public office in last month’s election.
The board began counting votes Dec. 4, and on Dec. 8, Rivera-O’Reilly, who currently is in seventh place among the elected St. Croix senators, filed a motion asking the court to intervene and stop the recount.