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Charlotte Amalie
Saturday, July 2, 2022


A sense of cautious hope and, in some quarters, elation seemed to be in the air this week after the announcement by Attorney General Iver Stridiron that the prosecution of public corruption was about to begin.
Even the most cynical among us cannot squelch the bubbly feeling that maybe, just maybe, the tide is about to turn; that the Virgin Islands government is embarked upon a process that will end the business-as-usual favoritism, public corruption and graft that were highlighted recently in the Wall Street Journal.
The AG said emphatically that the recent charges against former Gov. Roy L. Schneider and three top officials of his administration were not political. He also said more charges to be filed in the coming weeks will go back as far as possible and will include the current administration if criminal wrongdoing is uncovered. We hope he means what he said. There is no place for political vendettas here, only for rooting out any wrongdoing and changing the way we conduct public business.
Many of us have struggled daily in recent years to find reasons to believe that our beautiful islands can bounce back from hurricanes, economic downturns and corruption. This includes that shining cadre of honest, hard-working government employees who have refused to condone or approve improper and illegal actions by their peers, or even their superiors.
This week the Virgin Islands citizenry has been given that reason, that hope. For the first time in recent memory, it appears that a no-nonsense approach is being taken to halt the widespread practice of winking at corruption that has kept the community frustrated and afraid.
The AG and inspector general have made a public commitment to prosecuting white-collar crime in the Virgin Islands, with both admitting there is so much of it that it will be a long haul. It is a commitment we intend to hold them to.
We also will watch to make sure they get the money and resources they will need to conduct the challenging process of ferreting out the crime and corruption that have plagued our islands for years and brought us to our knees.
We believe that the misuse of public funds — and our acceptance of it as a community — has contributed greatly to our economic and social ills.
We hope the message has gone out to those who would continue to rape the people of the Virgin Islands: Those days are over.

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