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    Posted June 22, 2011 by
    ST. Thomas, Virgin Islands (USA)
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
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    “Corruption, and particularly governmental corruption, undermines our most basic responsibilities. It robs us of resources to invest in our students and teachers, in our hospitals and health clinics, to meet the needs of those with special needs, to fix pot holes and provide the essentials to improve everyday living. Even more importantly, it shakes the confidence and faith of the people that we were elected to serve. Public corruption is the most selfish act that one can commit.


    -Governor John P. deJongh, Jr., 2008 State of the Territory Address




    Mr. President, I respectfully submit to you this question.


    When will you finally issue a public statement calling for the resignation of the Governor of the United States Virgin Islands?


    Governor John P. deJongh, Jr., was found to had violated the law and usurped the authority of the United States Virgin Islands Legislative Branch of Government by misusing roughly half-a-million dollars in badly needed public funds on his private residence.

    These findings were substantiated by your U.S. Department of the Interior Inspector General, Mary L. Kendall, and the Virgin Islands 28th Legislature Committee on Financial Services, Infrastructure and Consumer Affairs in April 2010. Since your Inspector General issued her findings in January 2010, there have been no public statements nor calls for the Governor of the United States Virgin Islands resignation from your Administration. Why, Mr. President?


    The people of the Virgin Islands hold out no hope that Justice will be served from within the territorial Attorney General’s office. The Attorney General works directly for the Governor of the Virgin Islands, and he too is implicated, through his signature, in this MAFOLIEGATE SCANDAL. The Attorney General signed off, for legal sufficiency, on contracts that executed the wholesale unauthorized misuse of roughly half-a-million dollars in public funds on the private residence of the Governor of the Virgin Islands.


    Mr. President, how do the people of the Virgin Islands receive justice when their Attorney General, Chief Prosecutor of the Territory, has been compromised?


    Here is what your U.S. Department of the Interior Inspector General, Mary L. Kendall, had to say about Governor John P. deJongh, Jr., in her Report No. VI-IS-VIS-0004-2009 dated January 19, 2010 "Security Improvements At Governor of the Virgin Islands Private Residence".




    "During the summer of 2009, we received requests to review the funding of security improvements begun in 2007 at the Virgin Islands Governor's private residence.  A Virgin Islands senator and United States enforcement agencies had made a number of allegations that public funds, including federal funds, were improperly used to make the improvements.  In response to these request, we performed an inspection of the use of public funds to pay for the improvements at issue."


    "We found that the funds used for the purpose of providing security at your PRIVATE RESIDENCE were set aside for road repairs in the Virgin Islands by the Legislative Branch of Government.  In using those funds, the Executive Branch of Government improperly diverted roughly HALF-A-MILLION DOLLARS of specifically earmarked public funds and usurped the authority of the Legislative Branch of Government.  Under Virgin Islands law, only the Legislature is authorized to determine how public funds should be spent."


    "Moreover, these funds were spent without the benefit of a formal security vulnerability assessment"


    "According to Virgin Islands law, no officer or employee of the Government can enter into a valid contract before an appropriation is made for that specific purpose.  Since the appropriated funds should never have been used to finance security improvements at the Governor's private residence, all contracts and agreements issued for that purpose are INVALID.  The Virgin Islands Code contains definitive penalties for Government officers or employees who violate the law.  It specifically prohibits the spending of funds for reasons other than intended in a legislative appropriation and specifies penalties for violation, including fines and imprisonment."


    "By expending the funds for security improvements, the Executive Branch improperly depleted funds earmarked for much needed road repairs in the Virgin Islands.  Further, the Executive Branch's actions usurped the Legislature's authority to determine how to spend public funds."


    "We recommend that the Executive Branch of the Virgin Islands:  Adhere to existing laws regarding the use of public funds, which can only be used for purposes authorized by the Legislative Branch.  Ensure that funds redirected to the Department of Public Works by Act No. 6917 and improperly expended for security improvements at the Governor's private residence be return and used as intended."


    Mr. President, the governor of the Virgin Islands has flat-out refused to return the public funds he improperly expended on his private residence until he leaves office in 2014.


    His abuse of authority in unlawfully expending badly needed public funds on his private residence is totally unacceptable in light of the current economic crisis facing this U.S. Territory. Children are being evicted from their schools because of the “alleged” economic crisis, but the Governor still remains defiant in returning public funds he unlawfully expended on his private residence.


    Governor deJongh mismanagement and abuse of the Territory’s precious limited resources is an outrage, Mr. President, and should not be acceptable to you as the leader of the free world.


    CNN is now reporting (June 27, 2011) that former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was convicted on corruption charges for attempting to sell your U.S. Senate seat vacated when you became president.  Governor John P. deJongh, Jr., misused half-a-million dollars in badly needed public funds and your Administration have not call for his resignation.




    The Washington Post reported on June 22, 2004, that Connecticut Gov. John G. Rowland (R) had resigned his office after revelation that he had accepted gifts from state contractors and top aides:


    "But for the past six months, Connecticut has been consumed by revelations about his acceptance of gifts, and his popularity eroded steadily. Rowland allowed major state contractors and gubernatorial aides to foot the bill for a new $14,000 kitchen, a cathedral ceiling and a $3,600 hot tub at his lakeside summer cottage in Litchfield County. These same friends and associates gave him thousands of dollars' worth of champagne, Cuban cigars and a Mustang convertible."


    "Rowland's resignation will not put an end to his personal ordeal, as federal prosecutors continue their investigation."




    Congressman Weiner just recently resigned his office in the United States Congress as a result of him sending photos across the Internet.  Mr. President, here is what you had to say to Ann Curry at NBC News about Congressman Weiner's situation:



    "I can tell you that if it was me, I would resign"






    Governor John P. deJongh, Jr., has abused his authority and unlawfully expended over a half-a-million dollars in public funds on his private residence and remains in office to continue his mismanagement/abuse of the Virgin Islands most precious commodity, the People of the Virgin Islands.  Why, Mr. President, have your administration been silent?


    Mr. President, the people of the United States Virgin Islands screamed for joy at the moment you finished your oath of office and became the President of the greatest Nation on earth. What a glorious day that was here in the Virgin Islands.


    Today, we scream from the nightmare the current Governor of the Virgin Islands has put the Territory through. Sir, we are prepared once again to scream joys of JUSTICE and sing out loud, Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty, We're free at last.


    Mr. President, will you help us to finally realize that justice has been served on our Governor who, through his own actions, believes that he is above the law?


    Again, the Governor of the United States Virgin Islands in his own words:


    “Of course there are issues of corruption and wrong-doing that must be pursued by the appropriate authority –– be they our inspector general or department of justice –– and we will support them fully in all their efforts.


    - Governor John P. deJongh, Jr., 2007 State of the Territory Address


    Respectfully submitted to you, Mr. President, with the utmost respect to you and your office.



    Concerned Citizen

    United States Virgin Islands


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