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CoI ‘feels like targeting & victimisation’ toward me as a private citizen - Skelton-Cline

- said CoI feels like a public lynching
Local clergyman and talk show host, Mr Claude O. Skelton-Cline has blasted the Uk-sponsored Virgin Islands Commission of Inquiry for what he called victimization and a public lynching towards him in his private capacity as a citizen. Photo: VINO/File
Skelton-Cline's comment came while appearing before the commission for the second time on October 4, 2021, when he petitioned the Commissioner, Sir Gary R. Hickinbottom to explain why he is appearing to answer questions on the Neighborhood Partnership Project and to submit evidence once more, given the CoI is about Governance, and he is not a part of the Government. Photo: CoI/Youtube
Skelton-Cline's comment came while appearing before the commission for the second time on October 4, 2021, when he petitioned the Commissioner, Sir Gary R. Hickinbottom to explain why he is appearing to answer questions on the Neighborhood Partnership Project and to submit evidence once more, given the CoI is about Governance, and he is not a part of the Government. Photo: CoI/Youtube
WICKHAMS CAY II, Tortola, VI – Local clergyman and talk show host, Mr Claude O. Skelton-Cline has blasted the United Kingdom-sponsored Virgin Islands Commission of Inquiry for what he called victimisation and a public lynching towards him in his private capacity as a citizen.

Skelton-Cline's comment came while appearing before the commission for the second time on October 4, 2021, when he petitioned Commissioner Gary R. Hickinbottom to explain why he is appearing to answer questions on the Neighborhood Partnership Project and to submit evidence once more, given the CoI is about Governance, and he is not a part of the Government.

Skelton-Cline questions appearance before CoI

“On the matter of this neighborhood partnership, why am I in my as a private citizen, in my private capacity, having to answer questions on this particular contract when in fact, as in essence as you have expressed, you are conducting a Commission of Inquiry into governance processes and systems and yet, I as a private citizen in my private capacity is here answering questions on a contract that I had 8-9 years ago,” he said. 

The Commissioner responded, “More than eight or nine years ago now Mr Skelton-Cline because time passes very quickly, but secondly, you're absolutely right it's a good question because the focus of the CoI is on serious dishonesty in public office and governance."

He continued, “But as you will know because you will have read the Auditor General's report, she regarded governance in relation to these particular contracts as very very poor indeed and we need to establish the backgrounds of the contracts, what happened during them so that I can consider governance in relation to the contracts and you are obviously an important part of that story,” he said.

However, Skelton-Cline stated that from the best of his knowledge the report is incomplete, “so the best entity to speak with regarding governance, the processes and systems of this contract or any particular contract that I have had in my private capacity is the government,” he told the Commission.

'I'm not the Gov't'

“I'm not the government, I'm not even an elected official, I'm not a fiduciary of the government, I'm not a trustee and so with all due respect commissioner, I think, and I would like for you to correct me on the record if I'm wrong. I am the only private citizen in a private capacity that you have summoned to this CoI. I question that because it is too glaring to ignore, which leads me to a conclusion because it feels like targeting and victimisation to me in my private capacity as a private citizen,” he said.

Commissioner Hickinbottom responded, “firstly the basis of that proposition is wrong. You are not the only private citizen and secondly, the evidence that I need to take properly to investigate governance and serious dishonesty in public office is a matter for me. You've already very kindly given evidence Mr Skelton-Client on some of these matters, but the stage has now been reached where it would be useful for me if you were to answer the questions, we're going to put you in relation to the matters which have been raised,” he said.

The Commissioner claimed that the focus is still on governance, and will remain on governance; however, he said that there are some serious suggestions in the evidence of poor governance and some of those suggestions relate to matters relating to Skelton-Cline and his involvement.  

Skelton-Cline lashed back that “The best space and place for which you can drill into that is the government and the particular entity of whatever the particular contract may be.”

CoI feels like a 'public lynching'

“To have me here… and the reason you're going to feel some resistance on the private contracts that I have had, is because on more than one occasion of listening… I have heard Mr Rawat invoke my name with the then Minister Mark Vanterpool, with the Minister of Education, in a way that I think is willful and wicked, and it's unacceptable to me as a private citizen in my private capacity, as a husband, as a father as a clergyman in this community, a very small community, where these things are dispersed throughout the airwaves that leaves influence and innuendos.”

Skelton-Cline said the CoI feels like theatre and petitioned the Commissioner speak to the Government on contracts and not private citizens like himself relating to contracts.

“I am not going to allow myself, Commissioner, in my private capacity, to come through here, what to me and I must tell you, it feels like theatre, it feels like a public lynching [with] what I have noticed with sitting leaders, past leaders of my little country and I mean that's just the way it feels,” he said.

37 Responses to “CoI ‘feels like targeting & victimisation’ toward me as a private citizen - Skelton-Cline ”

  • facts (05/10/2021, 14:42) Like (10) Dislike (93) Reply
    Take it how you want. Claude has asked some valid questions. It is obvious that he is being targeted. And we know why...because he is brave enough to speak out against the UK...the people who are untouchable. Some of us may not like Claude but don't let that cloud your judgement of this whole scenario.
    • Strupes (05/10/2021, 15:24) Like (98) Dislike (1) Reply
      Claude has yet to show the value for the work he was paid for. reimburse the treasury.
    • IMO (05/10/2021, 15:27) Like (100) Dislike (1) Reply
      Respect to you but that's not why he's involved in this. It's his multiple contracts from public funds that don't have anything to account for. He's not done the BVI any favours and some persons have enabled him. He can be a private citizen and earn his living in the private sector but his track record is the use of government funds and that has to be accounted for.
    • santa (05/10/2021, 15:41) Like (39) Dislike (4) Reply
      Suck it up, Claud
    • malone (05/10/2021, 16:58) Like (48) Dislike (0) Reply
      Whole time skelton throwing stones at the COI, now they answer him he feel victimized?
    • Hot one (05/10/2021, 21:14) Like (0) Dislike (18) Reply
      Claude has a point. He should. It have been sent a letter with potential criticisms concerning his neighborhood contract. The Govt persons involved in that contract could be criticized under the terms of the CoI reference but not Claude (even if he did not work). The COI
      Might be able to ask him questions but they cannot criticize him under the terms of the reference.
    • Wayne DEAD (06/10/2021, 09:57) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
      Soooo it's not because he isn't qualified for any of the contracts he received? Or he was grossly over paid for these contracts with little to nothing to show for it? Or his only qualifications were he born here and this is his home? I'm not a lover of white colonialism but c'mon now.
  • Cry baby mentali (05/10/2021, 14:47) Like (64) Dislike (4) Reply
    Bla, bla, bla, cry baby Claude Skelton Cline, you have been overmatched by the Coi, bla, bla, bla, cry baby
  • fool (05/10/2021, 14:57) Like (63) Dislike (1) Reply
    If he thinks he is being targeted without reason, he obviously wasn’t listening to what the commissioner had to say. His queries were answered. If you have nothing to hide, don’t hide behind “I don’t know” or “I didn’t read the documents”. Grow up.
    • east (05/10/2021, 18:44) Like (13) Dislike (8) Reply
      you sound so stupid. if people like you have to fight for this country we will be in deep sxxt
  • Bravo (05/10/2021, 15:02) Like (10) Dislike (82) Reply
    If we had more Claude Cline we would be ina better place. He speak his mind and he is no fool. We are proud of you Mr. Cline. We must stop demonizing our brave people like what we did to Noel Lloyd only when it is too late we would appreciate them.
    • East people (05/10/2021, 18:39) Like (7) Dislike (40) Reply
      When he ask mr. Cline to tell him the date when he return home. He was to tell him that is non of his business. He out of place. we need more like Cline here in this country. if people coming here and they are making a living. were the hell you want our people make their living. stop calling down your own people. some of them when the coi going with them the same Skelton Cline maybe the same one to fight for them.
  • Ya awl (05/10/2021, 15:13) Like (57) Dislike (0) Reply
    CSC, you have been pad out of the public purse on many occasions. It’s now time to find out if those projects were valid, reasonable and productive.
  • Sticky finger! (05/10/2021, 15:26) Like (38) Dislike (4) Reply
    Why this man always talkin' slick? He don't see that the masses don't like him.
  • u (05/10/2021, 15:31) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Well tell me something this man torment are what my goodness this man is for real
  • Lucifer (05/10/2021, 16:03) Like (34) Dislike (0) Reply
    When you get paid from government contracts with taxpayer money, it is only right that you come under more scrutiny for the works undertaken and value provided. If CSC don't like it he could just turn the government contracts down
  • They doing them job (05/10/2021, 16:19) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    Take that and smoke it in your pipe.
    If they were to investigate me as a private citizen I won’t be mad.
    • East people (05/10/2021, 18:24) Like (4) Dislike (27) Reply
      I love what Mr. Skelton Cline did. we do not need them to settle no affairs for us we can settle our own affairs when we needed them they were not there. Mr. Skelton Cline did not steel anything from Government. he went and made a deal them and they accept do you see something wrong with that. Mr.Skelton Celine do not let no one prevent you from standing up for what you know is right. tell them to call them who getting Board money.
      • BuzzBvi (06/10/2021, 20:50) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        And make sure you get a gratuity or else get it from the plate left in church. Oh, that is not for you either.
  • Yes (05/10/2021, 16:46) Like (3) Dislike (36) Reply
    Yes clause is correct when he says he is been targeted. Today mrs smith was on and it was all about claude.
    They came here specifically for clause because they dont like people like clause who has the courage to speak out loudly and educate the public about united kingdom (ENGLAND).
  • Sad to say. (05/10/2021, 18:09) Like (16) Dislike (0) Reply
    CSC your glory days in the BVI is over...You are now seeing as bad news to stay away from....You will have to stick to your business, focus on improving and building your business.. Thats your only hope here in the BVI. No more big money contracts..
  • josiah'sbay (05/10/2021, 18:20) Like (15) Dislike (24) Reply
    The COI is investigating the VI Government not Mr, Cline. Mr. Cline as a private citizen is not responsible to the COI for his contractual obligation but to the VI Government. If the commissioner under the pretense of investigating good governance of the VI is allowed to pursue and interrogate private citizen about their contract with Gov. it will set a precedent for all public/private contracts to be scrutinized by the UK. violating the private citizen or company rights. If there is an issue with Mr. Cline and his Government contract it should be resolved between them and not the COI. Mr. Cline should state that he has no knowledge of any improprieties' with his governmental contracts and if there is any he's sure that the Gov. will let him know.
  • nonsense (05/10/2021, 18:27) Like (23) Dislike (2) Reply
    You are a private citizen functioning in a public capacity at the expense of the tax payers. You therefore have an obligation to be accountable to the public for your actions and their consequences.
  • sns (05/10/2021, 18:33) Like (17) Dislike (0) Reply
    it’s a contract with government so it’s not a private contract between two private parties you fool
  • ANOTHER BALDIE (05/10/2021, 18:42) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
  • watch (05/10/2021, 18:57) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
    Go sit down Mama's boy . If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear . Same with all of you
  • ALLL I KNOW IS (05/10/2021, 20:33) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
  • Life in d good ole UK (05/10/2021, 23:27) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
  • The TRUTH (06/10/2021, 05:22) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    It’s always interesting to see people get so defensive . Just answer the questions with truth , grace, dignity. Espresso telling the truth. Acting like a fool isn’t the way.
  • fromafar (06/10/2021, 05:30) Like (3) Dislike (7) Reply
    I am just wondering, some of you that are blogging I can read right through your comments, you anticipate an outcome from the COI that is terrible and spells dome and disgrace for these islands , you know who you are, I'm telling you again ,leave while you can . Clearly you hate the very core of the Virgin islands, I ask again Why are you here ? If the UK is where you want to be you have another leg in your journey.
  • challenget (06/10/2021, 08:13) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    mr. clyne. when you sign a government contract you cannot hid behind the cry of " i.m a private citizen". you have to answer to your contract with government. for someone so smart i was suprised that you stood tall on your soap box i this forum. Sometimes its just better to follow the manta of less is more and just andmswer the questions. they tied you in knotts Sir. you were too arrogant to even look at the prepared documents and that tripped you up even more. how do you explain that the contracts are in one name yet the docume ts requires for you to get the co tracts are in another ( certificates from nhi ssb and tax) . it is not right and to out that on government as the only ones who can answer that is foolish. did you not read those contracts before you signed them...for a smart man you are not ao smart.
    likeing the sound of your ow voice and trying to appear smarter and trying to take control of the coi did you way morr harm than good in my humble opinion. I eatched the full was captivating..and very very informative...even for the untrained ear
    respectfully submitted
  • Write (06/10/2021, 08:43) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    How do I write to the Col
  • Why not You (06/10/2021, 11:07) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Remember what happened when you lived off Island!
  • Gov't contract (06/10/2021, 12:30) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    This guy has a plush government contract to do ZERO other than rail on the radio.
    Any of my tax dollars that have gone to pay for his cushy contracts... Ain't been worth a penny! I WANT MY MONEY BACK!
  • Just Sayin (06/10/2021, 15:45) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    he has damaged the VIP party in this coi hearing and ifront of the voting people of the BVI.
    they were saying that the ndp were foolish for entering into a contract with bvi airways...this was just as foolish.
    tax dollars being squandered on someone who feels that he doesnt have to account for arrogant man...certainly not a humble man. it is shameful
    • IMO (06/10/2021, 16:42) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      He hasn't damaged the VIP, he got a petty contract that may be to be a media bull dog for them. But he has put a nail in the coffin of the NDP for putting him in Government projects without oversight. All in all, lay with dogs and get fleas. He is a mangey dog and any politician to enable him further will get one heck of a BOOT. If Fahie was smart he would've avoided doing business with him without having him produce something to show where the $$$ went. If Cline was smart he wouldn't have taken the gratuity, even if it was an error not of his making. All the spin of a top I see around this COI but the NDP caused this, and Fahie wasn't super smart with his first few decisions b/c he probably assumed there would be no accountability beyond elections. We all know Fahie will win and be re-elected regardless of anyone else's opinions. But Claude Cline is a dead weight to any political group at this point. He'll probably join the Mitch party next. And I guess who he preaches to will continue to support him but I can't study him as preacher nor well meaning citizen. He is for himself and unfortunately right now looks like a blood sucker of the system. Perhaps he can change my opinion in the future but right now, it don't look good.

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