Former Senator Alicia 'Chucky' Hansen Has Been Hospitalized; Details of Illness Unknown

  • Ernice Gilbert
  • September 17, 2023

Former Senator and Ubiquitous USVI Politician, Alicia "Chucky" Hansen.

Formidable former senator and powerful political player in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Alicia "Chucky" Hansen, has been hospitalized, the Consortium has learned from sources with knowledge of the matter. Details about the nature of her illness and the severity of her condition remain undisclosed. 

Currently working as an exempt employee of the V.I. Public Finance Authority, Mrs. Hansen is legendary in USVI politics, having served for over 20 years as a senator representing the St. Croix District. Leveraging her base of ardent supporters, Mrs. Hansen has been instrumental in shaping gubernatorial elections, giving her outsize weight in negotiating deals with candidates running for governor. This strength was on full display during the 2018 General Election, when Mrs. Hansen endorsed then-candidate Albert Bryan Jr. for governor. Following the election, Mrs. Hansen's daughter, Elizabeth Watley, was appointed Asst. Commissioner of the V.I. Dept. of Tourism in the St. Croix District.

The widely popular senator has long been a host of her own radio talk show and has used the platform to bolster her standing and assail critics. During her heyday as a senator, Mrs. Hansen's indomitability in campaigning saw her running number 1 against her competitors in several election cycles. Her campaigning was unmatched and loud, enlisting big-name recording artists from around the region to bolster her rambunctious rallies that amassed large crowds. During her gubernatorial effort in 2018 with Adlah Donastorg, which saw Mrs. Hansen running as lieutenant governor, the duo brought Soca legend Machel Montano to the Virgin Islands — the biggest Soca artist to ever perform at a political rally in the territory.

The former senator has been controversial throughout her tenure, and amidst the 2014 election cycle, she was challenged in court during an attention-grabbing case of moral turpitude, brought against her by former senator and former Board of Elections member Adelbert Bryan. Adelbert Bryan's lawsuit contended that Mrs. Hansen's failure in the past to pay taxes constituted a crime of moral turpitude: On May 28th, 2009, U.S. Attorney Paul A. Murphy announced that Mrs. Hansen had been sentenced to three years in prison for failure to pay her tax returns. She was given one year for each charge, but winded up serving no time in prison because visiting District Judge Frank Savage suspended all three years of her sentence and placed Hansen on probation for three years with “numerous and strict conditions”, according to a press release issued at the time.

The case dominated the 2014 election cycle, with Mrs. Hansen's name being placed on, then removed from the ballot to serve in the 31st Legislature. Mrs. Hansen was even pardoned by then-Governor John P. de Jongh, a move that led her attorneys to argue that the pardon was retroactive and therefore her name should be placed on the ballot. Yet even with all these efforts, Mrs. Hansen was kept off the final 2014 general election ballot, which negatively impacted her campaign. She lost reelection that year.

Though her popularity has somewhat waned, the former senator remains widely known and a political force that many in the arena respect.

The Consortium will update this story once more information becomes available.

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