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Friday, May 24, 2024


April 4, 2001 — Sen. Carlton Dowe said Wednesday that he will take legal action against Sen. Lorraine Berry for her remarks in a radio broadcast Monday.
He took time out from chairing the Rules Committee to say, "We expect to pursue this matter in a legal arena."
Berry said she had asked the Virgin Islands inspector general to investigate whether it was legal for the government to use a lump sum appropriation to pay V.I. Fire Services claimants, including former Fire Chief Dowe, a settlement totaling $304,059.21. Of that sum, $103,329.15 was for Dowe.
Dowe said he has hired attorney Karl Percell to represent him and the other six firefighters who received payments.
"We have done nothing wrong," he said.
Several of Dowe's majority colleagues voiced support for him.
Sen. Celestino White said Berry "connives" and tries "to hurt" and "destroy."
Sen. Alicia "Chucky" Hansen accused Berry of "character assassination."
Berry was not in the meeting at the time of the remarks. She issued a written statement in response, saying she would not be intimidated by a lawsuit.
With the door open to remarks unrelated to the bills under consideration, Sens. Almando "Rocky" Liburd and Donald "Ducks" Cole took the opportunity to attack Delegate to Congress Donna Christian Christensen.
Christensen had criticized the two after their Tuesday press conference in which they discussed their visit to Washington, D.C., last week, suggesting that they inflated the seriousness of the talks they had with national leaders.
"I wish that Sen. Cole and Sen. Liburd would stop misrepresenting what other members of Congress said to them," Christensen said.
"Too often folks believe they can say what they want to," Liburd said. "I never believe in my wildest dreams that the delegate would stoop so low."
Later, Sen. Adlebert Bryan followed suit, using the meeting to complain that "the media" has too much public access within the Legislature building and saying reporters shouldn't be able to "put a notebook" in his face.
The reference apparently was to an incident reported last week in the Avis. Immediately following a Rules meeting that was cancelled for lack of a quorum that Bryan could have supplied by attending, an Avis reporter approached Bryan in the hallway outside his office and asked him why he did not attend the meeting.
According to the newspaper's account, Bryan replied, "Stay out of my face, or I'll bust your face."

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