ST. THOMAS, V.I. – Attorney General Claude Earl Walker continues in
his efforts to ensure that the financial needs of the Territory’s children are being
assuming office in 2015, AG Walker launched an aggressive campaign to collect
millions of dollars owed in child support payments by non-custodial
parents. During this initiative, the
Department of Justice’s Paternity and Child Support Division was forced to
revoke the driver’s licenses of those parents who had overdue child support
payments. AG Walker said some of those
licenses have since been re-instated.
have suspended over 40 driver’s licenses and we have re-instated about four of
them,” AG Walker said. “The delinquent
parents have done what is required in order to have their licenses re-instated,
either by paying off the arrearages or entering into a payment plan for a
period of time, and have shown they will comply with it. We’re making it clear to the public that
although we have the authority to suspend, we also do re-instate driver’s
passports are also suspended if parents default on paying child support.
send a notice to the U.S. State Department notifying them that the person is
now in compliance and ask that the suspension on the passport be removed,” AG
today during a telephone conference with members of the media, AG Walker
announced that PCSD is now targeting professional license holders who have outstanding
child support payments.
focus has shifted to professional licenses… The statute clearly provides that
professional licenses and business licenses can also be suspended for
non-payment of child support fees,” AG Walker said. “The law is very broad… It covers just about
every field where a license is required.”
He said the
emphasis is now on different sectors where there appear to be significant
amounts owed in child support payments and one such profession where there are
some who are not meeting their fatherhood obligations is the taxicab
operation. AG Walker, along with
Director of Bureau of Motor Vehicles Lawrence Olive, Executive Director of
Taxicab Commission Levron Sarauw and PCSD Program Administrator Kathryn DeLugo,
has been conducting face-to-face meetings with taxi drivers who are behind in
child support payments, informing them of their delinquencies and making arrangements
for them to settle their arrearages or become current with their payments.
AG Walker pointed out that non-payment of
child support creates a strain on the welfare system.
it is the people of the Virgin Islands who will have to take care of these
children and that’s not fair,” he said.
DeLugo said during the third quarter of 2017, PCSD collected a total of
$1,853,514 in child support payments.
She said the
regional director for Administration for Children and Families (ACF) with the
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will be visiting the territory
next month to introduce a number of programs and initiatives being implemented
on the mainland that may be replicated here in the territory as PCSD continues
its enforcement process.