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Charlotte Amalie
Friday, May 24, 2024


Nov. 9, 2001 – Sen. Adelbert Bryan, never known for hiding his light under a bushel or anything else, officially resigned as vice president of the 24th Legislature Thursday night by means of a resolution removing him from the post. But he kept his committee chairmanship — and he won funding for a new commission which he will head.
He gained center stage at a Sept. 25 meeting when he announced he was resigning both the vice presidency and his chairmanship of the Economic Development, Agriculture and Consumer Protection Committee. He angrily denounced his colleagues at the time when they didn't support his legislation creating an economic recovery commission which he would head. He said then the Senate was "rife with hypocrisy," adding, "They want a political harlot and robot."
In a strange sequence of events Thursday evening, Bryan managed to get that very legislation passed by those very colleagues.
And his resolution mentioned nothing about resigning as chair of the committee. Doing so would have meant losing control of a good chunk of money — the committee's budget allotment. (That figure and those for all other committees chaired by members of the majority have yet to be made public, but senators have made reference to $200,000 to $300,000.)
Now, Bryan has retained the chairmanship, and the legislation has given him $650,000 to fund his Sustainable Economic Development Commission, which he will head. The rest of its membership is to comprise one Senate colleague of his choosing, the chair of the Economic Development Authority and private-sector individuals who participated in Bryan's 2001 Economic Development Summit in July.
The commission is to create a Virgin Islands Capital Market to outline "the ABC's for bringing a halt to the financial hemorrhaging in the V.I," Bryan said in September.
Bryan's resolution resigning the vice presidency was approved by the full Senate with only Sen. Norma Pickard-Samuel dissenting. Sen. Roosevelt David in Wednesday's session had asked the status of Bryan's earlier dual resignations. He said he didn't think the Senate should "hold the senator hostage" to the positions. David received no reply to his inquiry.
"I have particular convictions and feelings," Bryan said. "I don't feel like I'm being supported by this majority. I must be at peace with myself. That is the most important thing. I owe no apology for my actions tonight. Smiling faces lie and don't tell the truth."
Bryan stepped down from the vice president's chair after his announcement. He had occupied the chair several times since Sept. 25 and has presided at committee meetings.
While briefly occupying Senate President Almando "Rocky" Liburd's chair in Liburd's absence from the floor Thursday, Bryan ruled that an amendment proposed by Sen. David Jones was not germane and couldn't be heard. Jones was astonished, as Liburd had been allowing a host of non-germane amendments. Jones challenged Bryan and won. Shortly after that, Bryan introduced his resignation resolution.
Liburd handled the resolution solemnly, saying: "This resolution was brought by Senator Bryan. He has indicated his conviction. If he doesn't want to serve, he does not want to serve. We must move on from here." Liburd then appointed Sen. Donald "Ducks" Cole to serve temporarily as vice president.
Sen. Adlah "Foncie" Donastorg said he would support Bryan's resolution, and raise it one. He said he wanted to offer an amendment to remove Bryan from his chairmanship and make his pay the same as that of the lowest-paid non-majority senator. Liburd wouldn't allow the amendment to be offered.

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