St. Thomas-St. John board certifies results - just in time
Published: September 29, 2012
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ST. THOMAS - It was touch and go Friday, but in the end, the St. Thomas-St. John District Board of Elections certified the primary election by the deadline.
The certified results keep St. Thomas-St. John District Democratic Senate candidate Justin Harrigan Sr. in the race for the general election, edging out Jean Forde by just five votes.
However, Forde has filed a petition for a recount, so the results could change yet again. The board will consider his petition at a 10:30 a.m. meeting Monday.
Friday's meeting was a continuation of the last two meetings, which had gone into recess rather than formally adjourning.
When the meeting began Friday, members Colette White-Amaro, Lawrence Boschulte, Harry Daniel, Wilma Marsh-Monsanto and Alecia Wells were present.
Daniel immediately asked why Monsanto was present when she had written a letter to the board in August recusing herself because she is a candidate for the Senate At-large seat.
She said she was rescinding her recusal letter just for "this meeting." She had done the same this at the last meeting, which was held Monday.
Monsanto then asked the board's attorney, Kimberly Salisbury, if there was anything illegal about Monsanto being there.
"You can do whatever you want," Salisbury said.
Salisbury said there is no rule or law that prohibits sitting board members from attending meetings, even if they are running for office.
When Monsanto made it clear she was staying, Daniel and Boschulte got up and walked out, breaking the board's quorum.
The six members of the public gathered at the meeting Friday were shocked and concerned about whether the election could be certified without a quorum of the board.
"This is utter ignorance," Harrigan said. "You got a public out there waiting to know what's going on."
Yvonne Solomon Freeman said the members were acting like children and that to do the people's business they must put aside personality conflicts and work the job they were elected to do.
Downstairs in the Elections office, Daniel and Boschulte signed off on the election results before they left.
"We need to be professional in this place," Daniel told The Daily News.
Boschulte said that the election would be certified, but that he was not going to stay at a meeting with Monsanto. He said it is a conflict, and she already recused herself and should not be there.
Back upstairs in the board room, people asked the remaining board members questions about what would happen next.
"You can't have a quorum if they've walked out," Salisbury said.
Salisbury told board members that if they could get another board member on the phone, it would constitute a quorum, and they could sign off on the election.
A call was placed to Elections Supervisor John Abramson Jr., who spoke to the attorney.
Salisbury said Abramson told her that because they had a quorum when they started and the missing members signed the certification, as long as no one asked for a quorum call, the board had not lost its quorum.
This was met with eye-rolling and outcry from the meeting's observers.
On Abramson's advice to the board attorney, Wells said the remaining members could sign the certification, and the board would meet again on Monday to deal with the recount request from Forde.
At that moment, board member Lorna Thomas walked in, and the quorum was re-established. Thomas apologized for being late and said she had a medical appointment that ran late and got there as soon as she could.
In the end, everyone but Monsanto and Claudette Georges signed off on the primary election results.
- Contact reporter Aldeth Lewin at 714-9111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Senator St. Thomas-St. John
ï¼ Clifford Graham 2,734
ï¼ Shawn-Michael Malone (I) 2,182
ï¼ Myron Jackson 2,155
ï¼ Clarence Payne 1,979
ï¼ Janette Millin Young (I) 1,967
ï¼ Donald Cole 1,507
ï¼ Justin Harrigan Sr. 1,480
Jean Forde 1,475
Patrick Simeon Sprauve (I) 1,396
Franke Hoheb 1,343
Stedmann Hodge Jr. 1,198
Riise Smith-Richards 948
Matthew Hodge 601
Claudette Georges 547
Luis Morales 464
Christina Lee 353
Gregory Miller 271
Moses Carty 271
Sean Magras 178
Gilmore Estrill 130
I - Incumbent