ST. CROIX – The Committee on Rules and Judiciary, led by Senator Diane T. Capehart
convened in a meeting at the Frits E. Lawaetz Legislative Conference Room. Lawmakers
considered the nominations for the Governor’s nominees for Attorney General, the Superior
Court of the Virgin Islands, and the Virgin Islands Territorial Park Board of Trustees. The
committee also approved several resolutions honoring Virgin Islanders for their outstanding
contributions to their community. All approved nominees and resolutions will be forwarded to
the full body at the next Legislative Session.
In Block 1, the nomination of Ariel M. Smith, Esq. for the Virgin Islands Attorney General for
the Virgin Islands Department of Justice was considered. Senator Capehart reminded testifier,
“We are all voices of the People,” as she encouraged the Attorney General Nominee to support
her Resolution, if presented, on behalf of the residents of St. Croix’s Housing Communities who
were unable to join any of the class action lawsuits against Limetree Bay Terminals, Limetree
Bay Refinery and its subsidiaries.
In Block 2, The Governor’s Nomination of Yvette D. Ross-Edwards, Esq. for the Superior Court
of the Virgin Islands, District of St. Croix was considered. Additionally, the Governor’s
renomination of Judge Harold Willocks for the Superior Court of the Virgin Islands for the
District of St. Croix was considered.
In Block 3, the Governor’s Nomination of Anna Wallace Francis to the Virgin Islands Territorial
Park Board of Trustees was considered.
All the Governor’s Nominees in Blocks one to three were voted upon favorably and forwarded to
the full body for further consideration.
In Block 4, the following bills and resolutions were considered, all of which were voted upon
Bill No. 35-0012, an act amending Title 23 Virgin Islands Code, Chapter 19, Subchapter III,
Section 1556 relating to the retirement from the National Guard to increase the retirement
pension. The measure was sponsored by Senator Dwayne M. DeGraff and co-sponsored by
Senator Marise C. James.
Bill No. 35-0016, a resolution honoring and commending the Board of Elections; the Supervisor
of Elections, Caroline Fawkes, and the entire Virgin Islands Election System team for their
tireless service and contributions to the Virgin Islands community and on the occasion of the
60th Anniversary of the establishment of the Election System of the Virgin Islands. The measure
was sponsored by Senators Angel L. Bolques, Jr., Carla J. Joseph, Ray Fonseca, Novelle E.
Francis, Jr., and Marise C. James.
Bill No. 35-0062, a resolution honoring and commending Gregory Hodge, b.k.a. DJ Avalanche
for his outstanding contributions as a disc jockey, radio talk show host, and entertainer and
presenting to him the Official Key to the Virgin Islands. The measure was sponsored by Senators
Javan E. James, Sr, Angel L. Bolques, Jr, and Ray Fonseca.
“Today, the members of the Committee on Rules and Judiciary were able to consider and vote on
three bills and four nominees,” said Capehart. She further stated, “As we remained focused and
committed to completion of the agenda to fill critical vacancies in our Territory’s Departments,
Board and Commissions, and the Judicial Branch, I am reminded of the value of the vetting
process to ensure the best qualified candidates are selected.”
Senators present at today’s Committee meeting included the Committee Chair, Diane T.
Capehart; Vice Chair, Milton E. Potter; Members, Angel L. Bolques, Jr. Marise C. James, and
Carla J. Joseph, and Non-Committee Members Dwayne Degraff, Novelle E. Francis, Jr., Ray
Fonseca, and Javan E. James, Sr.