Lt. Gov. Gregory Francis has moved all his personal belongings out of the lieutenant governor’s office to make room for his successor, Lt. Gov. elect Osbert Potter, and is spending the holidays with his family in Atlanta.
In a phone conversation Wednesday morning, Gregory, who has 12 days left in office, said he had the vacation time coming and had to “use it or lose it.”
The Office of the Lieutenant Governor is responsible for all corporate filings in the Virgin Islands. The lieutenant governor is also the second highest ranking executive, second only to the governor. Along with corporations and trademarks the office also oversees the offices of the tax assessor, banking and insurance, passports, recorder of deeds, the Virgin Islands State Health Insurance Assistance Program (VI SHIP), which is the Virgin Islands local Medicare and the tax collector’s office.
Meanwhile the business of his office has been left to staff and the president of the Legislature.
When he cleaned out his office, Gregory turned off his electronic signature. With him off-island and no electronic signature available, the signing of any important documents is left by statute to the Legislature president.
Gregory’s chief of staff, Raymond Williams, was not aware that the lieutenant governor was not signing documents, but said that area was not his purview. Williams, who works out of St. Croix, said most documents came through the lieutenant governor’s office on St. Thomas.
Gregory said it had been 10 years since he had spent the holidays with his family and that he would be back in the territory on Jan. 2 before the new administration takes office on Jan. 5.