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Cruz Bay
Tuesday, July 16, 2024


Sen. Adlah "Foncie" Donastorg wants Gov. Charles Turnbull to hurry up and submit nominees for the Public Services Commission to the Legislature– and he doesn't want the name of Walter Challenger to be among them.
In a letter dated Nov. 3 and released to the media on Wednesday, Donastorg told the governor he was "shocked" to learn that Turnbull planned to reappoint Challenger, the current commissioner chair, whose term has expired but who continues to serve, like other in similar situations, until a replacement is named.
Donastorg called on the governor "to clean up this commission and begin to reverse the many years of wrongdoing," claiming that Virgin Islanders "have been overcharged and treated poorly by this territory's companies as a result of the PSC."
The senator said he had sent four previous letters asking that the governor submit nominees to the commission but that to date none have come down.
Reappointing Challenger, Donastorg wrote, would confirm "your official involvement in the conspiracy to protect the ICC companies from government scrutiny. . . blatantly facilitating government corruption and corporate greed" at public expense."
ICC is the acronym for Innovative Communication Corp., the parent company of the Virgin Islands Telephone Corp. and the territory's two cable television companies, all of which fall under PSC scrutiny, and other telecommunications enterprises all owned by Jeffrey Prosser. Under Challenger's chairmanship, the PSC has on several occasions sided with Vitelco in disputes over proposed rate changes, rejecting the advice of its long-time mainland consultant and prompting its local counsel, Maria Tankenson Hodge, to resign.
The commission chair "has been at the very heart of the controversies that plague this troubled body," the senator wrote, arguing that PSC "unorthodox and anti-consumer actions. . . have been enethical at best."

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