Carlos A. Robles and Claude Earl Walker were sworn in Thursday as commissioner of the V.I. Department of Agriculture and V.I. attorney general, according to a news release issued by Government House.
The swearing in took place during a 10 a.m. ceremony at Government House on St. Thomas, with family members, friends and well-wishers in attendance. The oaths of office were administered by Rhys S. Hodge, chief justice of the Supreme Court of the Virgin Islands.
Robles promised to develop the local agricultural industry’s commercial viability. Among other things, he said he would advance Gov. Kenneth Mapp’s plan to begin replacing school lunch menu items with locally produced foods.
Mapp’s goal is to take advantage of increased federal subsidies available to school districts incorporating healthier foods into their meal programs. The increased resources will help create market viability for local farmers, the governor said.
Robles said he will be fully committed to policies which expand commercial opportunities in agriculture.
Walker expressed great pride in what already has been accomplished since the beginning of his most recent tenure at the Department of Justice. He cited as one example the effort to convert the deteriorating remnants of the oil refinery on St. Croix into a revenue producing oil terminal facility, an arrangement which already has produced enough of a financial windfall to begin meeting critical public obligations.
In expressing his thanks to his newest cabinet officers, Mapp said his administration has recruited some of the most accomplished Virgin Islanders to lead the government with policies aimed at improving the general quality of life and ensuring the integrity of all public affairs.
Thursday’s ceremony followed a similar event Wednesday on St. Croix at which Property and Procurement Commissioner Randolph Bennett, Bureau of Corrections Director Rick Mullgrav and V.I. Fire Services Director Clifford Joseph took their oaths of office.