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Mapp signs executive order billing USVI Gov’t for Potter’s rental home

United States Virgin Islands (USVI) Governor Kenneth E. Mapp has signed an executive order mandating the Government of the US Virgin Islands to pay for Lieutenant Governor Osbert E. Potter’s (in photo) dwelling while he’s on St Thomas, USVI. Photo: VIC

CHARLOTTE AMALIE, St Thomas, USVI- United States Virgin Islands (USVI) Governor Kenneth E. Mapp has signed an executive order mandating the Government of the US Virgin Islands to pay for Lieutenant Governor Osbert E. Potter’s dwelling while he’s on St Thomas, USVI.

That’s according to a press release Government House issued on Thursday February 18, 2016 which contends that Mr Potter — a resident of St Thomas with a home there — has no place to reside in the capacity of his office while on the tourist-heavy island.

The announcement comes one week before the lease for a condo that Mr Potter has been renting — and which the government had expended over $16,000 for before the lieutenant governor agreed to pay for the rental — comes to an end on February 27, 2016.

The territory, the release says, has historically provided housing for its lieutenant governors with at least six properties assigned for the use of the second in command. However, it added, none of these properties are currently available as residences in the St Thomas-St John district, prompting Mr Mapp to sign the executive order mandating that the Government of the USVI pay for Mr Potter’s housing.

In July of last year, a fury was ignited over the condominium rental, which Mr Potter was renting on the government’s dime for $2,800 a month. After the arrangement came to light, Mr Potter announced that he would be paying for the condo out of his own pocket.

“What I have decided to do, because it is not my intention to make a 2-bedroom resident for the lieutenant governor to occupy, to make that be a continuous, nonstop, bone of contention and distraction for this administration, for the legislature [and] for the people of the Virgin Islands. What I have decided to do going forward — because I have not spent a day at the condo — I will personally assume the cost for rental for that condo going forward,” the lieutenant governor said in July, 2015.

“I will assume that [cost] until, and with  the expectation that the executive branch of government, in conjunction with the legislature, come together and once and for all bring some resolution to this situation,” he added.

That expense to Mr Potter has now been erased as a result of the governor’s executive order, which, according to the release, was enacted because until now, lieutenant governors serving the past four administrations have resided on St Croix and stayed in hotels while working on St Thomas.

But the release did not clarify whether Mr Potter would pay for the over $16,000 that the government had illegally expended for the rental property’s lease, according to Mr Mapp’s own chief legal counsel, Emile Henderson III. The governor had been advised by Mr Henderson that such action would be illegal, but the territory’s leader had rejected the opinion, holding firm to his belief that the government should foot the bill.

Language in the executive order says funds for Mr Potter’s rental home will be paid from the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, and the Department of Property and Procurement will assist with finding the housing — suggesting that Mr Potter may vacate the condominium for something else.

9 Responses to “Mapp signs executive order billing USVI Gov’t for Potter’s rental home”

  • just saying.. (22/02/2016, 16:38) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    He and mapp going broke the vi government
  • one eye (22/02/2016, 17:02) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Where are the FEDS?
  • please (22/02/2016, 17:50) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
  • John (22/02/2016, 18:27) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Like sodom and Gomorrah, administration after administration; there is not one to be saved.
  • Local (22/02/2016, 18:49) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
    That's just a drop in the bucket compared to what DR Smith government is doing up here
    • @ LOCAL (22/02/2016, 19:09) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      for real for after Dr. Smith & the NDP will be second in the world as the country least likely to pay back its debt. Greece was first.
  • Voter Too (23/02/2016, 10:04) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Ministers of Government are usually given some forms of benefit but what really hurts is when they go over their budjet and we the taxpayers still have to shin out more money for their overspending and galvanising.Later they gonna tell you no funding for pensioners, no funding for education and cutbacks on this and that. Why must we the poor always feeling it? no wonder so many fightting for positions like this to rob the treaury and kill the economy.This got to stop and stop right now. What is sometimes surprising is that while they are campaigning we are here for the poor, we gonna make sure you all benefit from dis and dat, increase in wages,salaries, better health care,scholarships,etc and all sometimes come with a price. It better we put the lunatics walking on the streets to run our governments I think they will do a better job.

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