BVI, Caribbeanand International News

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

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

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).

Police Commissioner Mark Collins remains on the job despite investigations into the controversial and offensive 'Police in Paradise' video.

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.


Related Articles

Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Israel: Unprecedented Civil Disobedience Looms as IDF Reservists Protest Judiciary Reform
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
Europe is boiling: Extreme Weather Conditions Prevail Across the Continent
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Italian Court's Controversial Ruling on Sexual Harassment Ignites Uproar
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.
BBC Personalities Rebuke Accusations Amidst Scandal Involving Teen Exploitation
A Swift Disappointment: Why Is Taylor Swift Bypassing Canada on Her Global Tour?
Historic Moment: Edgars Rinkevics, EU's First Openly Gay Head of State, Takes Office as Latvia's President
Bye bye democracy, human rights, freedom: French Cops Can Now Secretly Activate Phone Cameras, Microphones And GPS To Spy On Citizens
The Poor Man With Money, Mark Zuckerberg, Unveils Twitter Replica with Heavy-Handed Censorship: A New Low in Innovation?
Unilever Plummets in a $2.5 Billion Free Fall, to begin with: A Reckoning for Misuse of Corporate Power Against National Interest
Beyond the Blame Game: The Need for Nuanced Perspectives on America's Complex Reality
Twitter Targets Meta: A Tangle of Trade Secrets and Copycat Culture
The Double-Edged Sword of AI: AI is linked to layoffs in industry that created it
US Sanctions on China's Chip Industry Backfire, Prompting Self-Inflicted Blowback
Meta Copy Twitter with New App, Threads
The New French Revolution
BlackRock Bitcoin ETF Application Refiled, Naming Coinbase as ‘Surveillance-Sharing’ Partner