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Charlotte Amalie
Wednesday, May 29, 2024


In the midst of charges of sexual harassment and assault against acting Tourism Commissioner Clement "Cain" Magras, Gov. Charles W. Turnbull late Tuesday asked Senate President Vargrave Richards to "hold on" the nomination for 30 days.
The request was the result of charges filed Tuesday by long-term Tourism employee Heather Carty against Magras, charging sexual harassment and assault.
The governor's request came as Magras was in Senate chambers awaiting his confirmation hearing.
The formal charges were filed after Carty learned that Magras' nomination had been approved Monday night by the Rules Committee and as the full Legislature was set to consider his confirmation.
Carty's complaint was filed with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and will also be filed with the V.I. Civil Rights Commission, her attorney, Lee J. Rohn, said Tuesday.
Rohn said the complaints were not filed earlier because Carty had been assured by Government House, in a two-hour meeting about three weeks ago, that the governor did not condone the kind of behavior that Carty reported to them. Rohn said the governor's representatives believed Carty's allegations of sexual harassment against Magras.
Rohn said she and her client believed, based on the meeting with the Government House officials, that Magras' nomination would be withdrawn. Rohn could not identify the officials with whom Carty met.
Rumors did circulate last week that the administration was looking for someone else to fill the position of Tourism commissioner.
However, "when we found out Magras had not told the truth to the Legislature, we knew we had to act," Rohn said. "We were especially astonished when we heard that he (Magras) said he was not aware of any pending charges."
Rohn said not only was Magras aware of the charges, but had actually entered into negotiations with Carty.
In her formal charges against Magras, Carty alleges that on Feb. 5, Magras invited her into his hotel room, "ostensibly to return a phone call, throwing me down on the bed, tried to put his hands beneath my clothes, tried to kiss me, fondle me and requested I have sex with him."
The complaint says Carty reported the incident but government officials "failed to take remedial action." Since reporting the allegations, Magras "has further harassed me by repeatedly calling me and calling others to have them talk to me," the complaint states.

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