Federal Agents Seize Phone and Subpoena OMB Director Jenifer O'Neal in Ongoing FBI Investigation

V.I. Office of Management and Budget director linked to investigation surrounding police commissioner and contracted firm

  • Ernice Gilbert
  • June 15, 2024

Office of Management & Budget Director Jenifer O'Neal. By. V.I. LEGISLATURE

Jenifer O'Neal, director of the V.I. Office of Management and Budget, was served a search warrant and subpoena by federal agents earlier this week while in Florida, in a matter that is tied to the FBI's criminal investigation of V.I. Police Commissioner Ray Martinez, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Ms. O'Neal was subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury in the U.S. Virgin Islands to give testimony later this month, or provide documents in lieu of testimony, in the matter involving Mr. Martinez, said the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The federal agents also seized her cellphone. Investigators typically need a search warrant to seize a phone, which requires showing probable cause that the phone contains evidence of a crime. The warrant must be approved by a judge.

The matter involving Mr. Martinez is related to a St. Thomas-based firm that was contracted by the V.I. Police Department. After receiving the contract from the VIPD, signed by the police commissioner, the firm provided Mr. Martinez with funds to complete work on a restaurant project he has been working on for quite some time, according to people with intimate knowledge of the matter.

Calls placed to Ms. O'Neal for comment were not returned. Attempts to reach Governor Albert Bryan were unsuccessful.

The subpoena and search warrants were served while Ms. O'Neal was at a hotel in Florida.

This event marks the third official from the Bryan administration to come under federal scrutiny in just three days. On Thursday, V.I. Department of Education Director of Maintenance Davidson Charlemagne, and former V.I. Housing Finance Authority Chief Operating Officer Darin Richardson — two high-ranking government officials — were arrested after a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging them with government program fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering conspiracy. Mr. Charlemagne's wife, Sasha, was also arrested and charged in the alleged scheme.

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