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Supreme Court bars USVI senator from being sworn in today

Kevin A. Rodriguez would not be able to take the oath of office alongside his colleagues today, January 9, despite a Superior Court ruling last week that said he would be able to serve as a senator. Photo: Virgin Islands Daily News

CHARLOTTE AMALIE, St Thomas, USVI— In a last-minute judgement handed down on Sunday January 8, 2017, the Supreme Court of the [US] Virgin Islands said that Kevin A. Rodriguez would not be able to take the oath of office alongside his colleagues today, January 9, despite a Superior Court ruling last week that said he would be able to serve as a senator.

The Supreme Court’s ruling is another twist to a case involving Mr Rodriguez and 8th placer in the last Senate race, Janelle Sarauw, who filed suit against Mr Rodriguez, contending that he was not eligible to serve as a senator because he did not meet the residency requirement mandated by the Revised Organic Act of 1954.

Mr Rodriguez had sought to paint a portion of the Revised Organic Act of 1954 that pertains to domicile for those seeking elected office, as unconstitutional. That portion of the Act states that no person is allowed to be a member of the Legislature if he/she had not been a bona fide resident of the Virgin Islands for three years preceding the date of the next election.

Mr Rodriguez claimed in a bankruptcy filing in Tennessee to be a resident of the state, with his address listed as 4956 Indian Summer Drive in Nashville, Tennessee. The case was dismissed on July 25, 2016, but a section of a form related to the case that asks where one lived for the past three years — the form involved specifically asking whether Mr Rodriguez had lived anywhere else other than Tennessee for the past 3 years — Mr Rodriguez answered no.

But Superior Court Judge Kathleen Mackay ruled in Mr Rodriguez’s favour last week, stating that testimony from witnesses, including the would-be senator’s wife, confirmed that he has lived in the territory since 2013. However, the Supreme Court’s Sunday ruling — citing judicial estoppel — opined that the Superior Court could not take a position contrary to what it had taken in the past in a legal proceeding. The Superior Court had previously barred Mr Rodriguez from taking the oath of office.

7 Responses to “Supreme Court bars USVI senator from being sworn in today”

  • Xxx (09/01/2017, 12:42) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Cropoo spoke his pipe
  • ligigenment (09/01/2017, 13:30) Like (11) Dislike (5) Reply
    only we in the BVI does not have the balls to challenge Archie and Myron they are not ligiterment
    • Friend and family (09/01/2017, 15:09) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
      What God doesnt want, the angels cant have. He is a born and bred USVIslander, who lived abroad with his WIFE and children; then returned home to take work and run for tje Senate. He met and qualified for the three-year residency to run for Senator. He filed three years of income taxes in St.Thomas, held a USVI drivers license and collected rent on his rental properties in St.Thomas. The people have spoken by voting for him to be a leader in the Territory. Let it be known that Tennessee dismissed his bankruptcy case that he filed to keep a roof over his children's head, when he and his wife became estranged.
    • @ ligigenment (09/01/2017, 16:12) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      Speak speak speak so correct
  • fool (09/01/2017, 14:49) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Ligigenment why do you read and understand
  • bvi (09/01/2017, 16:26) Like (1) Dislike (12) Reply
    MYRON is the next Premier of the BVI
  • Classmate (09/01/2017, 18:54) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    My classmate Kevin always wanted to be a senator. I hope he can keep his hope alive. The man campaigned like Barack Obama to get a seat. Take it to the ancestors in prayer.

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