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Breaking News / Featured / News / Politics / Top Stories / Virgin Islands / June 14, 2019

Governor Albert Bryan told The Consortium Friday that he would be happy to see Carlton Dowe return to the Virgin Islands Port Authority as executive director, expressing confidence in Mr. Dowe’s ability to successfully lead the sprawling government arm.

Mr. Bryan’s remarks, made during a pen and pad event organized by Government House, come on the heels of a Consortium story that says Mr. Dowe has been chosen to return at the helm of V.I.P.A. Mr. Bryan said he was aware that interviews had taken place, and that Mr. Dowe was a finalist. He said he did not use his influence to sway V.I.P.A. in any direction relative to Mr. Dowe’s impending return.

“I actually was the chairman of the Port Authority’s personnel committee when we hired Senator Dowe the first time. I was always impressed with him,” Mr. Bryan said. “You know, people talk but I was on the interview [and] he blew everybody away, at least at that time. I can’t imagine that he would be worse this time; everybody knows he was removed for politics, so I would be happy to see him come back.”

Mr. Bryan spoke of a number of Port Authority-related projects that he’s eager to see move forward, comments made that appear to suggest Mr. Bryan thinks Mr. Dowe is the man for the job.

Carlton Dowe (Ernice Gilbert, VIC)

“I have a lot of projects at the Port Authority and other things that really keep me up at night. I want to get our airports back to together. Our seaports — we have a lot of projects to do that have not been done,” the territory’s leader added, mentioning a number of projects that have either started and slowed, or have yet to begin.

“When you come on the plane in Miami and you come off in St. Thomas or St. Croix, it should resemble what you left in Miami,” the governor said, referring to enhancements he’d like to see at the territory’s airports.

Mr. Dowe, fired from V.I.P.A. in December 2016 where he served as executive director, is headed back to the authority in the same position he held when let go, people with knowledge of the matter have told The Consortium.

The authority is expected to make the announcement later this month, these people said. Meetings were held this week on the selection, and these people said Mr. Dowe was chosen. The Port Authority’s Board of Governors have scheduled a meeting for June 26 to be held in the V.I.P.A. conference room at the Henry E. Rohlsen Airport.

Multiple calls placed to Mr. Dowe were not returned. 

When the board fired Mr. Dowe in 2016, it said the decision was made “without cause.” At the time of his firing, Mr. Dowe’s contract was two years away from expiring.

Mr. Dowe confirmed his departure to this publication the day after his removal in a telephone interview, telling The Consortium that the board’s action was without merit.

“The board indicated today that they had no cause,” Mr. Dowe said. V.I.P.A. confirmed that its release of Mr. Dowe from his duties was without cause, pursuant to Section 8 (c) in the employment agreement between Mr. Dowe and the authority. Mr. Dowe had to be compensated for the remaining two years of his contract, even if he was no longer employed with the authority. David Mapp, brother of former Governor Kenneth Mapp, was made assistant director and then director of the authority. 

Mr. Dowe wasted no time in his attempts to make sense of his termination, telling The Consortium at the time that his firing was politically motivated. “All of this is political mischief and shenanigans coming down,” Mr. Dowe said.

Asked if he believed that his termination was enabled by talk in the community that he would be joining the gubernatorial race in 2018, Mr. Dowe said he would not respond to speculation.

Mr. Dowe issued a company-wide letter to employees following his termination, writing in a statement that it was his honor to have served them, while commending employees for their dedication to results during his tenure.

“My results-driven, can-do spirit has been evident during my time with V.I.P.A.,” he wrote, adding, “However, as I always say, I Carlton Dowe could not have done this without your commitment and dedication to service.”

Ernice Gilbert
I wear many hats, I suppose, but the one which fits me best would be journalism, second to that would be radio personality, thirdly singer/songwriter and down the line. I've been the Editor-In-Chief at my videogames website, Gamesthirst, for over 5 years, writing over 7,000 articles and more than 2 million words. I'm also very passionate about where I live, the United States Virgin Islands, and I'm intent on making it a better place by being resourceful and keeping our leaders honest. VI Consortium was birthed out of said desire, hopefully my efforts bear fruit. Reach me at [email protected].

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June 14, 2019