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Charlotte Amalie
Wednesday, November 29, 2023


Attorney Yvonne Tharpes, who was fired from the Planning and Natural Resources Department in January 1998, has settled her wrongful discharge lawsuit against the V.I. government.
Tharpes received $24,918 in back pay, $15,949 in attorneys' fees and the right to reinstatement at a salary commensurate with her experience, Saturday's Daily News reported.
The back pay represents the time between her firing and her hiring last August as deputy chief counsel for the V.I. Legislature.
The government has 90 days to pay, the paper reported.
The settlement agreement says former DPNR Commissioner Beulah Dalmida-Smith fired Tharpes without cause.
Her attorney has referred to reports that she was fired because of her written position that AT&T was entitled to a hearing before the Coastal Zone Management Committee in regard to the mud spill near St. Croix when a fiber-optic cable was being laid.
Tharpes insisted hers was a classified position and thus she couldn't be fired without cause. The government countered that she was an unclassified — or exempt — employee and could be fired without cause or notice. The settlement backs up Tharpes' position, according to the Daily News report.

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