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Virgin Islands guv pardons convicted ex-lawmaker

September 3, 2014

CHARLOTTE AMALIE, U.S. Virgin Islands (AP) — The U.S. Virgin Islands governor said Wednesday that he is pardoning a former senator who was convicted of failure to file income tax returns so she can again run for public office.

In 2009, Alicia “Chucky” Hansen received a three-year suspended sentence for the violation of income tax laws. She was on probation for three years and performed 600 hours of community service.

Last week, the U.S. territory’s Supreme Court said Hansen was barred from running for office again because she’d been convicted of a crime involving “moral turpitude.”

But Gov. John de Jongh announced Wednesday that he has decided to grant Hansen’s request for a pardon so she can run again for a St. Croix senate seat. Hansen is an independent; de Jongh is a Democrat.

De Jongh said he believes that the voters of St. Croix are the “proper decision-makers” as to whether Hansen should represent them in the three-island territory’s legislature.

“I am fully aware that this is a controversial decision that will provoke much emotion and discussion. However, after much soul-searching I have concluded that the best decision I can make is the one I have made,” de Jongh said in a statement.

De Jongh first came to the governor’s office in 2007 expressing concern about the pardons of his predecessor. At the time, outgoing Gov. Charles Turnbull pardoned or commuted the sentences of several violent criminals, including four murderers.

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