V.I. legal community says private goodbye to attorney Ernest Bason
Published: September 12, 2013
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ST. THOMAS - Assistant attorneys general and other members of the legal community gathered for a private ceremony to honor the late Ernest Bason, who members of the office found dead in his home Sept. 3.
Bason, who turned 52 a little more than a month ago, had been scheduled to appear for jury selection in a case he was trying that morning.
The New York native had a roller coaster career in the Virgin Islands, one that was tainted by a public battle with the V.I. Attorney General's Office.
V.I. Attorney General Vincent Frazer, who declined comment about Bason, was not in attendance at the private gathering for Bason on Wednesday at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church on St. Thomas.
Bason was remembered by many of his family, friends and colleagues as a genuine and hard-working individual. Many of them said that they were shocked to hear of his death last week.
"He was an enlightening person," said Adrien Huggins, a colleague and a close friend of Bason. "There's not many people I would call a true friend here. I could name them on one hand, and he was one of them."
Bason arrived on St. Thomas in 1996, at which point he first worked at Marriott's Frenchman's Reef Beach Resort. He met many close friends and acquaintances at the time and came to know the island as his home.
"He was one of a kind. He was an original," said Michael Motylinski, also a colleague and close friend. "Everyone you talk to - they say he always had a smile, and it's true. And, he always gave big bear hugs."
Bason began working as an assistant attorney general at the V.I. Justice Department in February 1997. He was promoted to the position of Criminal Chief in July 2001 and served in that capacity until January 2007.
Frazer fired Bason in 2010, but Bason later regained his position in 2011 after going back and forth with the office in a legal tug-of-war.
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