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Inspector General Defends Investigation of Dowe


Oct. 7, 2005 –– V. I. Inspector General Steven van Beverhoudt took issue Friday with remarks made by former Sen. Carlton Dowe on the Thursday WVWI Radio One 5 p.m. news broadcast.
Dowe was found innocent Wednesday of charges he defrauded the V. I. government of $75,000. After an eight-day trial, a one-man and 11-woman jury found Dowe innocent on the two counts of wire fraud brought against him in August 2004. (See "Dowe Innocent").
Dowe asked the Radio One audience, "Was it coincidental that on the last date to file as a candidate, the indictment against me was read?" I think not," he said. "Martha Stewart went to jail for lying, Lil Kim went to jail for lying, and an investigator from the Inspector General's office should not be allowed to go before the grand jury and lie and tarnish a person's reputation."
After serving on the 24th and 25th Legislatures, Dowe lost his bid for a seat on the 26th Legislature.
Van Beverhoudt, in a release issued Friday, said, "Much fanfare and comments have been made in the media bringing into question the integrity of investigators for the Office of the V. I. Inspector General. The allegations that an investigator for this office misrepresented facts under oath are not true."
Van Beverhoudt continued, "In the recently completed USA vs. Carlton Dowe case, the defense alleged that the investigator for the V. I. Inspector General's office committed perjury by lying before the Grand Jury in order to get an indictment of the defendant. The Grand Jury secrecy law prohibits the disclosure of Grand Jury testimony, except during the course of a trial. For that reason, I cannot comment specifically on the Grand Jury testimony that resulted in Mr. Dowe's 2004 indictment."
"However," van Beverhoudt continued, "when the investigator's statement to the Grand Jury and his response to cross-examination are taken in context, there is no discrepancy."
Van Beverhoudt explained that the U.S. court system of adversarial justice provides both the prosecution and the defense an opportunity to present the evidence and testimony for their side. He said, "It is the jury's responsibility to determine the outcome."
"Rest assured," van Beverhoudt concluded, "the Office of the V.I. Inspector General has always, and, under my tenure, will always treat all individuals with whom we have contact, with the utmost respect, professionalism and fairness. The objective of this office is to seek the truth in the course of all investigations and audits. Our ultimate goal is to protect the best interest of the people of the Virgin Islands."

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