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Charlotte Amalie
Thursday, November 30, 2023


Dozens of workers who were fired by Gov. Charles W. Turnbull, ostensibly due to political ties to the former administration, got a temporary reprieve Monday when District Court Judge Raymond Finch ordered the governor to put them back to work.
At least one of those workers was sent home again Tuesday, according to a report on WVWI. Marylyn Stapleton received a letter from Dean Plaskett, acting Planning and Natural Resources commissioner, placing Stapleton on administrative leave with full pay.
Government House spokesman James O'Bryan said he was still trying to get a "handle on what happened." O'Bryan said he didn't know if anyone other than Stapleton had been sent home or where the order came from.
"It may have been someone in Government House, but I don't know at this time — or it may have been departmental. That's what I'm trying to get a handle on," he said.
O'Bryan said he should have some answers Wednesday.
"A lot of those people had been replaced already," O'Bryan said.
James Derr, attorney for 17 of the plaintiffs in the case, said he had
heard of one case where a former supervisor who was reinstated in an earlier action was working as chauffeur.
"He's being paid the same amount as he was in the other position," Derr said. As long
as he is receiving his former rate of pay, that's all that is required."
Of the 17 people Derr represents, four had been unclassified workers who had elected to be transferred to classified status. He said another seven or eight were unclassified employees. One more was classified with a Notice of Personnel Action. The status of the other four was unclear.
Unclassified workers do not go through the Personnel Merit System, but rather are appointed and serve at the pleasure of the governor.
Finch in his action Monday granted the workers a temporary restraining order, but the merits of their case still must be argued.

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