9-Year-Old Boy Dies After Being Shot in Head in Croixville Housing Community; Police Detain 15-Year-Old

Concerned Residents Clean Christiansted Town Using Their Own Tools, Money, and Some Help from the VI Fire Service

Territory May See Veterans Cemetery Through DeGazon-Sponsored Bill

Credit and Debit Cards of WAPA Customers Were Compromised Since August 30th, WAPA Says, Authority to Finally Start Issuing Notification Via Mail and Email

Sports Tourism in VI Gains Momentum as DC United Team is set to Play Exhibition Soccer Game on St. Croix

Carnival Breeze Brings 3,700 Tourists to St. Croix During Maiden Call; Senators, Tourism Officials Want to See More

Limetree Bay Willing To Provide $10 Million To Help Add Life to a Dying G.E.R.S.

American Airlines to Serve St. Croix With New Flights Next Summer

The Sudden Death of Influential Roots Reggae Visionary, Vaughn Benjamin of Midnite Band and Akae Beka, Has Rocked the Virgin Islands and Reggae Community Around the World

Arthur A. Richards K-8 School Hosts Anti-Bullying Campaign

Come Out. Hang Out. Have Fun at The Meat Up, One of St. Thomas’ Latest Hot-Spot for Good Food with Friends and Family.

UVI Board of Trustees Approves $47.1 Million Fiscal Year 2020 Budget; Sets $3 Million Fundraising Goal

Man Dies During Early Morning Car Accident on St. Croix; Driver of Car Arrested (Updated)

'You Did Everything You Could to Prevent this from Happening': An Emotional Goodbye to Young Aaron Benjamin

Back in Business: Cost U Less on St. Thomas Opened its Doors Friday to Thousands of Customers 2 Years after Irma and Maria

Bill Aimed at Regulating Credit Use by Gov't Departments and Agencies Among Others Held in Committee

Juan Luis Hospital Announces Completion and Availability of Mobile Dialysis Facilities

Tractor Trailer With Tank Carrying Thousands Of Gallons of Liquified Gas Flips Near Cool Out Bar; Driver Injured But Alive

Credit and Debit Card Hack Through WAPA Appears to be Widespread in Virgin Islands; WAPA Says Support Services Will be Made Available to Affected Customers

Facing Life in Prison Without Parole, Mother and Boyfriend Plead Not Guilty in Murder of 4-Year-Old Boy

Casino Control Commission Members Say Some Financial Woes Continue After Arrest of Ex-Chairman On Fraud, Embezzlement And Conspiracy Charges

Crime / News / Virgin Islands / August 15, 2019

V.I. Casino Control Commission (CCC) officials appeared before Senate lawmakers Wednesday for the first time since ex-chairwoman of the commission, Violet Anne Golden, was charged with looting the CCC treasury.

Usie R. Richards, vice chairman of the CCC, testified at the V.I. Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday, delivering good news and some bad news.

Mostly bad news, though.

The commission had accumulated $280,000 in overdue bills, money owed to vendors, service providers, landlords and contractors. Mr. Richards said the past due invoices were recently paid.

It turns out, Mr. Richards said, the commission discovered yet another $70,000 in delinquent debt owed to even more vendors, service providers and contractors.

And the commission was so far behind in rent – $42,003 – that back in December, the landlord, the Government Employee Retirement System, wanted to evict the CCC from its St. Croix offices.

The commission received a hand-delivered “Notice to Vacate Premises,”  the 4,667-square-foot office located at #3005 Estate Orange Grove, Christiansted. “This is a demand for payment. Only full payment of the amount owed will prevent the termination of the month-to-month tenancy,” read the letter, according to Mr. Richards.

Casino Control Commission Office at #3005 Estate Orange Grove, Christiansted (Ernice Gilbert, VIC)

Current members of the commission were able to make the $42,003 payment in full. A new lease agreement is in the works, Mr. Richards informed the Finance panel.

The financial woes come to light just weeks after a federal grand jury indicted former CCC chairwoman Violet Anne Golden and cohort Stephanie Barnes on charges that include embezzlement, wire fraud, conspiracy and obtaining money under false pretenses. The pair was accused of swindling the commission, and making personal use of the public funds.

Mr. Richards acknowledged the commission has a long road ahead to regain credibility.

“We recognize the difficulties that we have over the upcoming months to continue to improve the impression, the integrity of the commission,” he said in closing remarks to legislators.

Among the first changes: The commission has ended its contract with ABC Behavioral Services LLC, the company run by Ms. Barnes, the alleged co-conspirator with Ms. Golden. The company was hired by Ms. Golden to provide problem-gambler counseling services to the CCC, even though Ms. Barnes had no training or formal education in the field.

Sen. Marvin A. Blyden, Finance Committee vice chairman wanted assurances that the CCC was implementing stronger controls and oversight on spending and hiring contractors. “In light of the current predicament that the former chair found herself in, it is clear that a considerable change must be done in how the commission operates,” Mr. Blyden said.

In past years, “the commissioners that were there did not exercise their due duty and responsibility” to properly oversee spending Mr. Richards said. Under the new leadership, the CCC will “run the commission by majority decision by commission members.” He laid out the commission’s plans to beef-up financial oversight and contracting procedures.

Mr. Richards and Labor Commissioner Gary Malloy are in the throes of a intense war of words over millions of dollars the Dept. of Labor (D.O.L.) says the CCC owes it for youth jobs programs.

D.O.L. asserts that the Casino Commission owes roughly $2.8 million in funds tied to Labor’s Disadvantaged Youth Fund. Even before Mr. Malloy took office, the labor department had written several times to ex-CCC Chairman Golden about the delinquent payments, but the department pleas were ignored.

Mr. Richards disputes the $2.8 million figure. After exchanges of correspondence with the labor department chief, Mr. Richards said he is convinced the $2.8 million figure includes costs that should not be covered by the CCC.


Robert Moore

Previous Post

Dept. of Education Announces 2019-2020 School Orientation Schedules For St. Thomas-St. John District Schools

Next Post

UVI's Free Tuition Program Shows Early Signs Of Success, Hall Says

You might also like

Leave a Reply

More Story

Dept. of Education Announces 2019-2020 School Orientation Schedules For St. Thomas-St. John District Schools

The Virgin Islands Department of Education announced the orientation schedules for the following: Charlotte Amalie High...

August 15, 2019