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Former executive director of USVI legislature charged with bribery and extortion
Published on May 10, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

ST THOMAS, USVI -- The former executive director of the Legislature of the US Virgin Islands has been indicted by a federal grand jury in the USVI for accepting bribes and engaging in extortion in the award of contracts with the Legislature.

The indictment charges Louis “Lolo” Willis, 56, of St Thomas, with three counts of federal programs bribery and three counts of extortion under color of official right.

According to the indictment, Willis was the executive director of the Legislature between 2009 and 2012. One of his responsibilities included oversight of the renovation of the Legislature building, which included awarding and entering into contracts on behalf of the Legislature. These contracts included contracts for general construction, air-conditioning services and carpentry, which were not publicly bid. Willis was also responsible for paying the contractors for their work.

As alleged in the indictment, Willis accepted payments, including, among other things, thousands of dollars in cash, from three contractors in exchange for using his official position to secure contracting work for the contractors and to ensure they received payment upon completion.

An indictment is merely an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.
 
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