Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Third District Candidate Mr Kevin C. Smith aka ‘OJ’ has fired back at Hon Julian Fraser RA (R3) over statements he made on the campaign trail in relation to Smith’s employment and role at the Premier’s office under ex-Premier Andrew A. Fahie.
In a statement released on April 5, 2023, Smith said, “Hon Julian Fraser, who calls himself the Liberator, on the 1st of April; a day not synonymous with integrity and moral judgment, attempted to misinform and mislead constituents and the general public.”
He added that Hon Fraser mentioned two things regarding his employment at the Premier's Office, which concerned his salary and the terms of his contract.
Hon Fraser blames 'OJ' for Ex-Premier Fahie's troubles
Hon Julian Fraser during his campaign launch on April 1, 2023, said Mr Smith was almost like an assistant premier to Ex-Premier Andrew A. Fahie
and was allegedly paid a salary of some $100,000 annually under contract for advice to the then premier, and that he must say what advice was given to the Premier up until his arrest in Miami on April 28, 2022.
"Another guy out there who used to advise his boss...I guess if you advising a man and he go a place, it's your fault right? Answer me, if I am teaching you to drive and you run over a cliff it's my fault because I didn't tell you hold the brakes," Hon Fraser stated, in reference to Mr Smith being an Advisor to the Premier.
Smith while not denying the salary scale in a statement released today, April 5, 2023, said, “Firstly, as a professional for over 30 years, I have regularly been employed at the executive level and have always been paid a salary equal to my role and responsibilities.”
Mr Smith is a former Post Master and in November 2019 became the first local CEO of Digicel BVI.
Advise did not include on Premier's personal dealings- Smith
Smith added that the salary ranges were approved by the cabinet and that he was one of 3 consultants who have been paid at that level, “My engagement with the Government pertains to policy matters and projects which were of importance to any Premier.”
He said whatever occurred with the former Premier is yet to be proven in court and that his job did not include advice or dealings with respect to the former Premier’s personal activities.
Hon Fraser could collect approx $1M in retirement funds- Mr Smith
“Hon Fraser on the other hand has a lot of explaining to do as he voted most favourably for the greedy bill and stands to collect as much as a million dollars in lump sum retirement funds while you struggle every day to pay bills.”
Smith then went on to say that Mr Fraser stands to receive regular monthly contributions as a result of the 'greedy bill' while the people of the VI continue to wrestle with unemployment.