76 F
Cruz Bay
Friday, September 30, 2022


While the governor and lieutenant governor are off-island, Finance Commissioner Bernice Turnbull is serving as the territory's acting governor.
Gov. Charles W. Turnbull is traveling in Europe and will return Sunday. Lt. Gov. Gerard Luz James is attending the funeral of former prime minister Vere Bird in Antigua and returns Saturday.
"The commissioner of Finance is third in line," Government House spokesperson James O'Bryan said Friday.
However, the Finance commissioner is only third in line when it comes to temporary absences of the territory's top two executives; should the governor and the lieutenant governor both die, or quit, the Senate president would fill any permanent absences.
Bernice Turnbull was sworn in Thursday by Territorial Court Presiding Judge Verne Hodge at a ceremony in the Lieutenant Governor's Office. She is the first of Gov. Turnbull's Cabinet members to be sworn in, though most were confirmed weeks ago.
Bird's funeral was held in Antigua on Friday.
Of the many issues lingering in Gov. Turnbull's absence is the appointment of a permanent commissioner of Tourism. Turnbull's first nominee, Clement "Cain" Magras, was reject by the Senate because a coalition of St. Croix senators said he wasn't focusing sufficiently on their district.
St. Croix Tourism employee Heather Carty also has a sexual harassment complaint pending against Magras.
Turnbull Chief of Staff Juel Molloy said Thursday the administration has received many recommendations, but it has not begun a serious review of potential replacements.
Assistant Commissioner Monique Sibilly-Hodge has been acting commissioner since Magras' departure.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.

Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.