Former V.I. Police Commissioner Ramon Davila indicted by feds


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A federal grand jury indicted former V.I. Police Commissioner Ramon Davila on 24 counts of making false statements in connection with contract work he performed as a background investigator for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management in 2007, according to court documents.

The indictment was filed Sept. 23 in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. It claims Davila lied about conducting several dozen interviews and reviewing documentation on a number of prospective federal employees.

Davila's attorney, Haytham Faraj, denied the allegations, which he called "a fishing expedition" by the Office of Personnel Management, and urged the public not to jump to any conclusions about his client's innocence.

"Mr. Davila was a police commissioner. He dedicated his life to public service," Faraj said. "I would ask that people leave room for the possibility that he's innocent. Keep an open mind."

Faraj told The Daily News that he planned to prove Davila's innocence at trial.

"We've got documents and evidence to counter every one of these allegations," he said. "Mr. Davila will prove his innocence in court. It's unfortunate that they had to bring this indictment. But in the course of this trial, OPM" - Office of Personnel Management - "practices are going to be put on trial."

Faraj did not want to offer his arguments about why the charges were pursued and said he and Davila had been cooperating with federal investigators during the last year.

Davila served as police commissioner from 1994 to 1999 after serving for years as a U.S. Customs agent - a position he returned to after leaving his post as police commissioner. Since then, Davila has worked as an investigator, conducting background checks and other investigations on a contract basis. He was listed as the president of Caribbean Research Inc., which listed offices in the Washington, D.C., area and Frederiksted. The Caribbean Research website said the company offers similar services to those which the federal government claimed he did not fulfill in its indictment.

The Daily News attempted to reach Davila through the company, but a person who answered referred all questions to Davila's attorney.

Davila currently is living in the Virgin Islands, Faraj said.

The federal indictment said Davila was employed by three different companies as an investigator under contract to conduct background investigations on behalf of the Office of Personnel Management, which is a part of the federal executive branch. Davila conducted investigations of current and prospective employees for various government agencies and their contractors to determine whether that person should be allowed to access classified information "for positions impacting national security, and for receiving or retaining security clearances."

The positions required conducting interviews with the job candidates, as well as with others who knew the candidate, the indictment said. It also included reviewing employment records and other relevant documentation before submitting a report to the agencies for review.

All 24 counts against Davila claim that he failed to do much of that work from January through July 2007 and then lied to investigators about it by making "materially false, fictitious and fraudulent" statements during the course of the investigation.

Because of confidentiality concerns, Davila, like all other background investigators with the federal government, had to turn in all notes and reports he made in the course of his investigations, according to Faraj. Davila had to rely on restructuring his work through phone and driving records, which put him at a disadvantage, Faraj said.

- Contact Daniel Shea at 774-8772 ext. 457 or email dshea@dailynews.vi.

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