VIPD let Millin Maduro go home after drunken hit-and-run
Published: March 7, 2014
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ST. THOMAS - According to court documents, V.I. Police officers let a high-ranking government official go home after she caused a collision Tuesday night near Frenchtown on St. Thomas and fled the scene of the accident while heavily intoxicated.
After initially saying Wednesday that information was unavailable about what transpired, police on Thursday gave little explanation why they did not jail Property and Procurement Commissioner Lynn Millin Maduro after an officer determined that she ran a red light and then hit another vehicle on Veterans Drive near the Frenchtown post office about 6 p.m. Tuesday.
Millin Maduro, 42, was advised of her rights at 9 a.m. Thursday in V.I. Superior Court after police arrested her about an hour before her court appearance.
Her bail was set at $500, which she paid after the hearing.
According to the probable cause fact sheet, Millin Maduro had a blood alcohol level of 0.181, more than twice the legal limit, after a chemical test was administered two-and-a-half hours after the accident.
No injuries were reported, though both vehicles had minor damages. Millin Maduro was driving her personal vehicle at the time, not her government vehicle.
In the probable cause fact sheet, responding officer Chadka Mayers described Millin Maduro as smelling of alcohol and having watery eyes and slurred speech when the officer arrived on scene. Mayers said that during field sobriety tests at the scene, Millin Maduro "could not walk straight" and during the one-leg stand, she "held her arms out to maintain balance and was rocking back and forth in an attempt to keep her balance."
According to St. Thomas-St. John Police Chief Darren Foy, Millin Maduro left the scene of the accident, and then came back later.
Foy did not know how long it took Millin Maduro to return, nor did he know what prompted her to return.
He said he believes that Mayers was not yet on the scene when Millin Maduro returned.
Prior to failing the field sobriety tests, Millin Maduro told Mayers that she had not consumed any alcohol before driving, according to Mayers' affidavit.
Mayers transported Millin Maduro to the V.I. Police Department's traffic bureau, where police conducted a chemical test.
Mayers affidavit does not address why Millin Maduro was released after failing the field sobriety and chemical tests for intoxication, nor does it address why she was released and not arrested until Thursday.
On an affidavit attached as a supporting document that Mayers filled out and signed, the space for "date of arrest/time" is left blank, while all other fields are filled out.
Police did not charge Millin Maduro on Tuesday evening, Foy said, because they needed more time to investigate.
"They don't have to make an arrest right away," Foy said, though he did not know how long police detained Millin Maduro, nor did he know how she got home that night.
Foy denied that Millin Maduro received special treatment or that the delay in the arrest is an indication that government officials were trying to cover up the commissioner's arrest.
"That's an assumption," Foy said.
Police eventually arrested Millin Maduro at 8 a.m. Thursday, the same day that The Daily News published an article about her involvement in the accident.
As of Thursday, Millin Maduro faced charges of driving with an illegal blood alcohol level; driving under the influence; negligent driving; and leaving the scene of an accident.
On Wednesday, Government House spokesman Jean Greaux Jr. said that Millin Maduro had received only citations on Tuesday, one for leaving the scene of an accident and one for causing an accident.
On Thursday, Greaux declined to make any further comment about the accident.
Millin Maduro, who has served as the Property and Procurement commissioner since 2007, was in her office on Thursday, according to her assistant. She did not return calls to The Daily News on Wednesday or Thursday.
Greaux did offer a prepared statement Thursday about whether Millin Maduro faces any disciplinary action.
"These matters are handled on a case-by-case basis depending on the nature of the facts and circumstances available," Greaux said. "Ensuring that the operations of the Department of Property and Procurement remain unaffected is of the utmost importance. The governor will weigh these considerations and determine the appropriate course of action."
- Contact Jenny Kane at 714-9102 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.