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HomeNewsArchivesVitelco Transfer Signed After Prosser Delaying Tactics Backfire

Vitelco Transfer Signed After Prosser Delaying Tactics Backfire

This file photo shows Prosser leaving bankruptcy court in 2008.Vitelco and the Innovative Cable companies officially changed hands Wednesday after the V.I. Supreme Court vacated its stay Tuesday, concluding the companies’ former owner Jeffrey Prosser was intentionally delaying consideration of his own appeal.
Prosser is in bankruptcy, as is his former holding company ICC, which in turn owns Vitelco and the two cable companies in the territory.
In May, the PSC voted to let Prosser’s biggest creditors, the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (CFC), take ownership of Vitelco and Innovative.
Prosser appealed to V.I. Superior Court, lost the appeal, and now has an appeal pending before the V.I. Supreme Court.
Prosser filed to have the transfer stayed pending appeal both with Superior Court and the Supreme Court.
Superior Court turned down the stay.
On Sept. 20, the Supreme Court issued a partial temporary stay to allow all the parties a chance to submit documents and to give the court a chance to look at documents to judge whether a stay was warranted.
In its Oct. 5 order, the Supreme Court said it issued a temporary stay in September "not because it had found that a stay pending appeal was warranted on the merits but only for the limited purpose of preserving the status quo so that both parties could submit all the documentation and arguments necessary."
But Prosser did not comply with the court’s explicit order to supply a transcript, even though one was available, and despite submitting several other legal filings after the transcript became available.
"(G)iven [Prosser’s] failure to submit the … transcript even though the transcript was available for submission on the stated deadline and the fact that the absence of the transcript is the only obstacle preventing this court from considering appellants motion for a stay pending appeal on the merits, this court cannot conclude that appellants have not brought their motion for a purpose other than delaying enforcement of the PSC’s May 5, 2010 Order," the court wrote in its order.
The court dissolved its stay, saying Prosser’s failure to provide the transcript makes it impossible for him to meet the burden of demonstrating that a stay pending appeal was justified, since, "in the absence of a transcript, this court is required to presume the Superior Court’s decision was proper."
CFC announced the transfer had closed Wednesday, saying its subsidiary, Caribbean Asset Holdings (CAH), now owns Vitelco, Vitelcom Cellular and the cable companies, but not Prosser’s other, smaller Caribbean holdings.
“This is a milestone day,” CFC Chief Financial Officer Steven Lilly said. “CFC recognizes that this has been a long process for us, Innovative’s employees and customers, the people of the Virgin Islands and other critical stakeholders.”
CFC also announced it has put in place a new executive management team at its CAH holding company. This team is based in the territory and led by Seth R. Davis, who will serve as the chief executive officer.
“The CAH team recognizes the challenges that lay ahead for us, and we are ready to get to work alongside our valued Innovative employees to rebuild all the core components of this enterprise and better serve our customers,” Davis said in the statement. “CAH’s overall goal is to improve the infrastructure of the Innovative businesses in order to bring V.I. customers and businesses an upgraded network and enhanced services.”
Despite the transfer of control, Prosser’s appeal is still technically pending. But Prosser would now have to win his appeal before the same three Supreme Court justices who just ruled he was intentionally delaying his own case and persuade them the transfer should be undone after the fact.

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