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Friday, May 24, 2024


May 19, 2001 — Two years after vanishing from the territory’s political scene, former Tourism commissioner appointee and longtime Democratic Party stalwart Clement "Cain" Magras is back with a job in the Turnbull administration.
Magras, who was nominated by Gov. Charles W. Turnbull for the top Tourism post in 1999 but rejected by the Senate in June of that year, started a $54,000-a-year job in the Office of Management and Budget on May 8.
According to Government House spokeswoman Rena Jacobs McBrowne, Magras’ new position is associate director of federal grants management. The job entails overseeing all of the federal grants that come into the territory.
Magras himself declined to comment on his position, referring questions to his boss at OMB, Ira Mills. Mills didn’t return calls on Friday.
Magras was Turnbull's first nominee to head the Tourism Department. In the three months that he served in an acting capacity while his confirmation was pending before the Legislature, the former senator, Licensing and Consumer Affairs commissioner and legislative branch executive director came under fire on several fronts.
Business critics on St. Croix accused him of not being committed to promoting their island. Opponents throughout the territory argued that he lacked expertise and experience in the hospitality industry and in marketing. And longtime Tourism employee Heather Carty filed sexual harassment charges against him with the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, then filed further charges alleging harassment and slander stemming from her earlier claim.
The Senate rejected the Magras nomination in June of 1999.
Until his recent return to the territory, Magras and his wife, Dahlia, were living in Florida.
When the governor's second Tourism nominee, Michael Bornn, took over the department in an acting capacity, one of the things that came across his desk in his first days on the job was an unsigned contract for Dahlia Magras for $55,000 a year for four years to market the territory as a travel destination in the state of Florida. A Tourism source said Cain Magras had left the contract for the new acting commissioner, Monique Sibilly-Hodge, so sign, but she declined to do so on her own authority. Bornn also declined to sign it.

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