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Thursday, September 29, 2022


With the Tourism Department basking in a warm glow in the aftermath of the Sinbad Soul Music Festival, Gov. Charles Turnbull said Monday he wants his nomination of Clement "Cain" Magras for commissioner of Tourism to go forward in the Legislature.
Turnbull had requested a 30-day hold on the nomination in light of a sexual harassment and abuse complaint filed against Magras by St. Croix Tourism Office employee Heather Carty on April 27, the day after he won approval from the Senate Rules Committee.
The governor requested the hold in order to have the Attorney General's Office investigate the complaint, filed with both the Civil Rights Commission and the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The 30-day hold expired last Thursday.
Turnbull told Radio One on Monday that Attorney General Iver Stridion has investigated the matter and "said he could find nothing" that would call for turning back the Magras nomination.
The nomination of Magras, who as Tourism commissioner-designate maintained a high profile at soul festival events, is being opposed by several hospitality industry groups on grounds unrelated to the allegations.
The St. Croix Chamber of Commerce contends that he lacks expertise, experience and vision in the tourism sector; the St. Croix Hotel and Tourism Association "reluctantly" went on record against the nomination in a letter to Turnbull.
Magras, an active Democratic Party politician, served as commissioner of Licensing and Consumer Affairs in the Alexander Farrelly administration, had been a senator before that and was most recently executive director of the 22nd Legislature. His nomination was approved by the Rules Committee 4-1, with two members absent, at a hearing held on the night Carnival Village opened in the Fort Christian parking lot across from the Legislature Building.

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