The V.I. Superior Court order that dismissed a challenge of Senator Alicia Hansen’s eligibility to run for office in the General Election has been appealed by St. Croix attorney Emile Henderson.
According to Henderson’s appeal to the V.I. Supreme Court, Superior Court Judge Douglas Brady made some mistakes when he tossed out a suit filed by Adelbert Bryan against Hansen and Elections Supervisor Caroline Fawkes, challenging Hansen’s eligibility to seek office in the upcoming 31st Legislature on the General Election ballot.
According to a brief filed by Henderson this week, the Superior Court committed an error when it failed to conduct a statutory construction analysis in interpreting the term “moral turpitude”, and failed to conduct a sound analysis in determining the term “willfully” as used in the law.
Because of this, the court’s findings that Fawkes properly certified Hansen to be eligible to be nominated to the 2014 General Election ballot were tainted, Henderson claims, adding that the court compounded the problem when it failed to comply with its statutory mandate according to the law.
Henderson is asking the Supreme Court not to remand the case back to the Superior Court as doing so, he claims, would only impede the election process. He also believes that the decision of the Supreme Court would have a lasting effect for generations to come.
“It is indisputable that Hansen was convicted of three counts of willful failure to file income tax returns — a crime not just against the Virgin Islands government, but a violation of her oath to the people of the Virgin Islands, Henderson wrote in his brief.
“Hansen’s failure to file her income tax returns and pay her income taxes as due increased the tax burden on other Virgin Islanders and decreased the services that the Virgin Islands government could provide to the people of the Virgin Islands.”
Henderson contends that although the crime is a misdemeanor, it involves “evil motive, bad purpose and intentional, deliberate conduct, which would then constitute a crime involving moral turpitude”.