Published: June 29, 2012
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ST. THOMAS - In the middle of Thursday's Senate session, Sen. Craig Barshinger made a motion to subpoena V.I. Finance Commissioner Angel Dawson Jr. to explain why the Legislature still is being denied access to the territory's bank accounts.
In September, Sen. Janette Millin Young offered an unrelated amendment to a bill during session.
Gov. John deJongh Jr. line-item vetoed the measure in October, but the Senate overrode the veto at an Oct. 27 session.
The measure - which is now law - gives the legislative post auditor the authority to access any banking or financial institution holding government funds. Once the post auditor gets the information, he has 30 days to provide a report on the territory's financial condition to the Senate Finance Committee chairman. Ten days after the chairman receives the report, it also will be sent to all senators and the Finance commissioner.
In his veto message, the governor said permitting the Legislature access to the codes and passwords of the bank accounts of another branch of government would be a gross violation of the separation of powers doctrine.
Despite the override, the V.I. Legislature still has not been allowed access to the government's accounts.
Barshinger said the subpoena will force Dawson to come before the Senate Committee of the Whole and explain why the executive branch has not complied with the law to date and when it will comply.
The Legislature's legal counsel will draft and issue the subpoena.
- Contact reporter Aldeth Lewin at 714-9111 or email email@example.com.