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Charlotte Amalie
Thursday, November 30, 2023


The controversial pardons that former Gov. Roy L. Schneider issued just before he left office were put through without the customary "attest" to his signature by Lt. Gov. Kenneth E. Mapp.
Mapp, contacted through an aide, declined to speak on the issue but confirmed he did not sign the pardons. He said the documents were never presented to him, and thus he did not attest to the governor's signature.
Mapp was out of the territory for much of the time between the administration's defeat in the November election and the actual transition of power in early January, and it fell to then-Senate President Lorraine Berry to sign government documents on his behalf.
It was a role she played frequently for Mapp, Berry said, because "he was away a lot these last two years."
However, Berry said she did not attest to Schneider's signature on the pardons either.
"They were never sent to me," she said.
The lack of an attest on the pardons has raised some questions in the legal community as to whether they are valid.
However, the man who has been tapped to be attorney general, St. Thomas attorney and former senator Iver Stridiron, said the lack of an attest probably is not "fatal" to the documents.
He said the same question arose in the 1980s during a power struggle within the Legislature when it was unclear who should be co-signing certain government papers.
The research concluded that the lack of a second signature wouldn't invalidate a document, Stridiron said.
If a political opponent can stymie a governor's orders simply by not co-signing them, "then the whole system fails," Stridiron said.

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