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Almost 5 mths later Dr Carolyn O’Neal-Morton & Najan Christopher still on leave

- While Police Commissioner Mark Collins still on the job
Almost five months later two senior public officers, Dr Carolyn O'Neal-Morton (left) and Najan Christopher (right), who are also indigenous Virgin Islanders working in the Premier’s Office, are still on paid leave. Photo: GIS/File
Police Commissioner Mark Collins remains on the job despite investigations into the controversial and offensive 'Police in Paradise' video. Photo: GIS/File
Police Commissioner Mark Collins remains on the job despite investigations into the controversial and offensive 'Police in Paradise' video. Photo: GIS/File
Governor John J. Rankin, CMG, left, and Premier and Minister of Finance Dr the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley (R7). Persons have been questioning whether the two persons have been inconsistent in their handling of an issue involving two public officers who have been sent on leave, as against Commissioner of Police Mark Collins, who remains on the job despite an investigation into the controversial and offensive 'Police in Paradise' video. Photo: GIS/VINO/File
Governor John J. Rankin, CMG, left, and Premier and Minister of Finance Dr the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley (R7). Persons have been questioning whether the two persons have been inconsistent in their handling of an issue involving two public officers who have been sent on leave, as against Commissioner of Police Mark Collins, who remains on the job despite an investigation into the controversial and offensive 'Police in Paradise' video. Photo: GIS/VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Almost five months later, two senior public officers who are also indigenous Virgin Islanders working in the Premier’s Office are still on paid leave.

Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Premier’s Office Dr Carolyn O’Neal-Morton was caught up in an audit of the COVID-19 funds distributed by her office to residents, including fisherfolks and farmers, during the Territory-wide lockdown due to the pandemic.

Dr O’Neal-Morton had told auditors that she needed more time to provide the information requested from the Auditor General Ms Sonia M. Webster on the stimulus. Ms Webster was rushing through with an audit on the money spent in time for the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) deliberations.

Locals a target?

However, Dr O’Neal-Morton's intentions were twisted through the CoI carried out by a one-man commissioner, British national Sir Gary R. Hickinbottom. The PS had requested more time to provide the information; however, Hickenbottom characterised her request as a way to obstruct the work of the Auditor General.

Dr O’Neal-Morton has denied the obstruction allegations; however, her position was ignored and current Governor John J. Rankin, CMG announced she was under “investigation” and she was forced on leave.

To date, no update has been given on the status of the investigations. Premier and Minister of Finance Dr the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) confirmed Dr O'Neal-Morton being sent on leave at a May 13, 2022, press conference.

In addition to Dr O’Neal, another public officer, Najan Christopher, who is the Director of the International Affairs Secretariat, is still on leave.

On the request of former Premier Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1), who was arrested in Miami, Florida on April 28, 2022, for alleged cocaine trafficking and money laundering conspiracy, Ms Christopher wrote and signed a letter stating that Hon Fahie at the time of his arrest was the Head of Government of the Virgin Islands and therefore immune from arrest.

The letter was later disavowed by now Premier and Minister of Finance Dr the Honourable Wheatley.

The letter, dated May 3, 2022, which carries the letterhead of the Office of the Premier and is stamped by the International Affairs Secretariat, appears to endorse the former Premier's argument for diplomatic immunity. 

When the letter was leaked to the press, then acting Premier Wheatley noted that both himself and Dr O’Neal-Morton, the then PS, were unaware of the correspondence and blamed it on a “rogue public officer”.

He also noted that the "rogue public officer", who was later identified as Ms Christopher, would be “investigated” and that the letter did not reflect the position of the Virgin Islands Government.

Fahie was Premier @ the time- Christopher

It is our understanding that when questioned, Ms Christopher said at the time she dispatched the letter Honourable Fahie was still the Premier and she was in her right to take instructions from the Premier.

She also noted that both Drs Wheatley and O’Neal-Motion were made aware of the letter before it was dispatched but neither of them ever said it could or could not be dispatched.

Meanwhile, Premier Wheatley announced at a recent press conference that Police Commissioner (CoP) Mark Collins was being investigated over the ‘Police in Paradise’ video that Governor Rankin labeled as “inappropriate”. However, unlike O’Neal-Morton and Christopher, the CoP remains on the job.

Racism & double standards?

There has been no word on the status of the investigation or why he remained on the job and if the police are investigating themselves. Many residents and talk show hosts have cried foul and labeled the situation as double standards, injustice, and racism.

Mr Collins had said he got clearance from the BVI Tourist Board (BVITB) on the video; however, BVITB publicly denied any involvement in the video projecting the Territory as crime-ridden and a violent place. 

Collins claimed it was a recruitment video for officers to join the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF).

26 Responses to “Almost 5 mths later Dr Carolyn O’Neal-Morton & Najan Christopher still on leave”

  • jah (21/09/2022, 15:54) Like (3) Dislike (15) Reply
    I could recall in 2002 when VI people use to behave in a manner (I am from here get iyo MSKNT from here you don't belong long here) was that racist or was is a slang ( I think they should have use that same words in the COI) God give those give people the opportunity to do the right thing but when he see what you are doing wrong he would leave you to fall in the direction that your focus and intentions are taking you towards..don't be angry..be happy that you couldn't do your job..majority of VI people doesn't want same sax marriage but check what's the status of how many divorce and single parent in the VI..
  • resident (21/09/2022, 15:57) Like (32) Dislike (0) Reply
    if it is with pay then i wouldn't care if i was them
  • Knock knock (21/09/2022, 15:59) Like (14) Dislike (1) Reply
    still collecting monthly payments or what
  • Windy (21/09/2022, 16:03) Like (4) Dislike (36) Reply
    This is sad another sell out of our people to the slave masters
    • Really??? (21/09/2022, 16:18) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
      get iyo MSKNT from here
    • YAWN (21/09/2022, 17:00) Like (33) Dislike (10) Reply
      You might blame long deceased slave masters for your own people treating you like slaves on the job.

      Put a sock in it!!!!
  • what i call it (21/09/2022, 16:08) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
    Easy money
  • UK Own (21/09/2022, 16:16) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    Ask the Present Premier why Naj.Still on Leave or who cause her to be put on Leave..If you all don't see or learn about Karma,The former head was cut off stay tuned for the next Head..
  • WHAT!!! (21/09/2022, 16:39) Like (26) Dislike (3) Reply
    Sit around don’t work but get paid with my tax dollars.
    • Get Rid A Dem.. (21/09/2022, 18:19) Like (41) Dislike (0) Reply
      Let the people know that corruption , lies and dishonesty will not be tolerated...
  • Pension at stake (21/09/2022, 17:55) Like (9) Dislike (2) Reply
    Truly, these two pension could be at stake. That's all I am saying
    • @Pension at Stake (21/09/2022, 19:57) Like (21) Dislike (1) Reply
      If they have been dishonest then they don't deserve to be paid a pension with our tax dollars...
      • @ @ Pension at Stake (22/09/2022, 10:52) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        Every story have two sides. The truth would one day be told. I hope your pension is secured. not you alone paying tax. some of you so dishonest when paying you all taxes, not putting the correct amount the working for.
  • Administrative leave (21/09/2022, 19:31) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    simply means that these persons will be leaving the administration in the near future. Their pension disappears but they will be paid up to to the date that there employment is cancelled.
  • gh (21/09/2022, 20:37) Like (5) Dislike (8) Reply
    police leaked that video no investigation. police alleged human trafficking by using the police boat,no investigation. Police boat rhum hunt,no investigation.
  • Indigenous? (22/09/2022, 07:11) Like (3) Dislike (3) Reply
    Can they really trace their lineage back 3 generations?
  • Hmm (22/09/2022, 09:01) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    when i grow up i want to be like them
    no work but getting paid
  • ccc (22/09/2022, 09:10) Like (1) Dislike (6) Reply
    This is how the locals are treated in the homeland
  • No (22/09/2022, 09:50) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    NOT indigenous
  • Citizen (22/09/2022, 09:58) Like (4) Dislike (2) Reply
    "She also noted that both Drs Wheatley and O’Neal-Motion were made aware of the letter before it was dispatched but neither of them ever said it could or could not be dispatched." I though the Dr. siad he did not know or was not aware of the letter. You hear lies.
  • FEO GOMEZ (22/09/2022, 11:52) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    These are two people that believe in the DREW and paying the price.
  • left bvi (23/09/2022, 14:18) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Karma strikes again. She is paying for her sins.


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