Former gubernatorial candidate, judge and lawyer Soraya Diase-Coffelt has been selected by Governor-elect Kenneth Mapp to be the next Attorney General of the U.S. Virgin Islands, people close to VI Consortium, who have intimate knowledge of the matter and requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak, have confirmed.
Coffelt, who based her gubernatorial run on fighting corruption, endorsed the Mapp-Potter team a few days before the Nov. 18 run-off election, stating that she believes they are “genuine in their commitment of improving the lives of the people.”
While on the campaign trail, the former judge declared war on corruption, demanding the immediate unsealing of records in the criminal case involving former Virgin Islands senator, Alvin Williams, stating, “I ask the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the defendant himself to allow the unsealing of these records so that we the people know what has happened in this case.”
She went on to say that through a statement released by Williams’ attorney, the disgraced lawmaker “acknowledged that he was a part of the corruption in our government. He stated, ‘It is wrong; it must stop.'”
According to Coffelt, Williams’ statement also stated, “It is hope that when the full story is finally revealed, justice will be done.”
In relation to her endorsement of the Mapp-Potter team, Coffelt said the two men are the best suited to unite the people by bringing former rivals together for the greater good of the territory. The former judge added that the Mapp-Potter team understands the challenges the territory collectively faces, and encouraged those who supported her to support them, as well.
“After giving thoughtful consideration as to what both teams stand for, I am publicly endorsing the Mapp-Potter team,” she said. “I believe that they are genuine in their commitment to fight for improving the lives of the people, and are against corruption.”
Coffelt added: “Just as President Obama assembled a team of rivals to work together for the betterment of the people of the United States after the 2008 Presidential Elections, I also believe that the Mapp-Potter team will do the same for our Islands.
“Ultimately, we are all in this fight together, and it’s a fight we cannot afford to lose. The Mapp-Potter team truly understands that the challenges we face are great, and the future of our Islands are at stake.”
Coffelt placed third in the gubernatorial race with 1,837 total votes, or 7.07 percent. “We ran a clean campaign that focused on the issues which are important to the people of the Virgin Islands,” she said in a post to supporters on her Facebook page.
In an interview with VI Consortium following her failed gubernatorial bid, Coffelt explained why she ran for the highest office of the land.
“I believe very strongly [that] God has given us different gifts; He didn’t just give us one gift. And, one of my gifts was being a lawyer and a judge, and the reason why I ran in this campaign was to show people that you can have a candidate who is honest, [who has] moral values and could be a good leader. You don’t need to have the usual politician who is going to say whatever the politician believes people want to hear.”
She continued: “So that’s the reason why I ran, and I am very glad that I ran, because I was able to get out a different perspective, and let the people know that there was somebody with integrity and honesty out there who is very interested in serving them.”
The current Attorney General, Vicent F. Frazer, will make his exit along with the governor who appointed him, John P. de Jongh, on January 5, 2015, the same day the Mapp administration takes office.