Joint Board of Elections continues to ignore illegal document shredding

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ST. CROIX - During the Joint Board of Elections meeting Tuesday, only one board member brought up the issue of the Elections supervisor shredding public records and the topic largely was ignored.

While board members had three minutes each to discuss a candidate challenge issue before the board, Adelbert Bryan took some of his allotted time and changed the topic, asking Elections Supervisor Caroline Fawkes about the records and required documentation she received from candidates.

When Bryan asked whether all the candidates had submitted a police record, Fawkes responded by saying "No comments."

Fawkes has admitted shredding police records - which are public records specifically cited in V.I. Code - that were submitted as part of candidate nomination packages to run for public office.

Fawkes told The Daily News that after receiving police records as part of candidates' nomination packages, she either returned them or shredded them if the candidate did not want them. She said she believes she did nothing wrong.

Under V.I. Code, willfully destroying public records is a criminal act.

On Tuesday, after the first "no comments" from Fawkes, Bryan continued his queries, asking her which attorney advised her to shred the police records - a question that initially was met with silence by Fawkes.

After Joint Board chairwoman Alecia Wells noted that Bryan's time was running, Bryan said he was waiting for an answer.

"I said no comments," Fawkes responded.

Fawkes went on to answer some of Bryan's questions, though, acknowledging that she got police records from candidates, and that no one from the district board or the joint board had authorized her to shred the documents.

When Bryan asked whether she had a record of whose police records were shredded and whose were returned to them, Fawkes said that she did.

Bryan raised the question of whether she would be able to present that to the board, and was moving on to another question when his time was called.

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