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Charlotte Amalie
Monday, July 15, 2024


Gov. Charles W. Turnbull has fired Wayne Chinnery from his position as drug policy adviser to the governor.
In a one-paragraph letter Thursday from Government House on St. Croix, Turnbull said the termination is effective immediately. Police Commissioner Franz Christian will assume Chinnery's responsibilities until further notice, Turnbull said.
Turnbull was on St. Croix for a swearing-in ceremony for Tourism Commissioner Raphael Jackson.
Chinnery, a former candidate for governor, could face charges of assault and violations of the domestic violence law, based on a complaint filed by Lori Elskoe. Elskoe, the general manager of WTJX TV Channel 12, alleged that on July 5, Chinnery struck her several times with his fist during an altercation at the Sapphire Beach Resort and Marina. She and Chinnery have a child together.
The incident remains under investigation by the VIPD Domestic Violence Unit, Christian said Wednesday.
The reports about Chinnery brought a reaction from at least one women's group in the Virgin Islands.
Mary Mingus of the St. Croix Women's Coalition said Thursday she found it disturbing that the assault allegations involve the head of an agency that distributes funds to assist victims of violence.
"I don't know whether this is a fact or an allegation but I would hate to think that somebody in our community who distributes funds to stop domestic violence would become a perpetrator," Mingus said adding, "I hope justice is served if this is indeed true."
Chinnery was expected back in the territory Thursday, having been off-island attending a conference on the U.S. mainland.
WVWI Radio One and the online Source publications were the only media organizations to report Wednesday that Chinnery had been named in a criminal complaint.

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