Phillips is effective

Published 2:45 pm Thursday, July 30, 2015

Editor, Smithfield Times

I have known Mrs. Georgette Phillips for approximately 15 years, with 10 of those years being on a professional basis.

Just prior to me being employed as a welfare fraud investigator with Isle of Wight Department of Social Services in 2000, Mrs. Phillips had just passed the Law Bar Exam and was employed with the Isle of Wight Commonwealth’s Attorneys office. At that time, her primary duties were to prosecute welfare fraud cases.

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In the 10 years I worked with Mrs. Phillips, she successfully prosecuted 158 out of 159 cases. The one case that was not successfully prosecuted had nothing to do with the way the case was investigated or presented. In court, one witness, who was married to the defendant’s sister, recanted his earlier statement. Prior to a case going to trial, a pre-trial conference was held to go over the witness’s testimony. The witness in question told one story at this conference and told another store at the defendant’s trial. Mrs. Phillips learned from that case and at any subsequent pretrial conference, she brought in a court recorder and placed the witness under oath so that if a witness tried to recant their testimony, that person could be charged with perjury.

I worked very closely with Mrs. Phillips in preparing fraud cases, including assisting her in preparing grand jury indictments. One case contained over 125 indictments, including food stamps, energy assistance, housing and Social Security fraud for a total of $250,000 in fraud charges.

During my professional association with Mrs. Phillips, over $1,000,000 in restitution was ordered through her efforts.

Again, in my opinion, during my association with Mrs. Phillips, I saw her grow into one of the most efficient and effective prosecutor that I have known during my 43 plus years experience in law enforcement, I say without reservation that Mrs. Phillips most deserves to become the next Isle of Wight commonwealth’s attorney.

Don Hill