Oct. 16, 2002 – In paid advertising published Thursday, candidate for governor John de Jongh Jr. refutes what he termed "outright falsehoods" spread by incumbent Gov. Charles W. Turnbull and the governor's campaign aides.
With the headline "The Truth about WICO," full-page ads placed by de Jongh in the two print daily newspapers display a personal letter he received earlier in the year from the late Gov. Alexander A. Farrelly. In it, the former chief executive described de Jongh's "unequivocal support of the government's purchase of WICO" in late 1992 and 1993.
In the ad, de Jongh takes Turnbull to task for comments made in a radio address on Oct. 4, when the governor questioned what he called de Jongh's departure from a position of importance "during the height of the critical negotiations surrounding the purchase of the West Indian Company Ltd."
According to a memo also appearing in the ad, de Jongh told Turnbull that "your political operatives have been trying to peddle this fabrication for quite some time. It so angered Gov. Farrelly that he wrote to let me know this back in January."
Farrelly's letter to de Jongh characterized "the rumor circulating in the Virgin Islands" regarding de Jongh's role as "both untrue and malicious."
The late governor described de Jongh, who served as his executive assistant, as one of his "closest advisers." He wrote that "at no point" did de Jongh "attempt to thwart my decision or undermine my effort to purchase WICO."
"These many years later," he told de Jongh, "I continue to look upon you as having been one of the bright stars of the Farrelly administration, and I am saddened at the attempt by others to tarnish your role in my administration."
"It is for that reason," Farrelly wrote, "that I have taken the trouble of writing you this letter."
In a television interview last week, when asked about his role in the territory's negotiations to acquire WICO from Danish interests and about his relationship with the late governor, de Jongh reminded show host Amos Carty that Farrelly had appointed him — de Jongh — to the Schneider Hospital board in 1993, a few months after he left formal government service.
In his Oct. 4 radio address, Turnbull told his listeners, "As the election draws near, trust and character are critical factors you should consider when you go to the polls … Let your conscience be your guide. Evaluate the candidates and the lengths they have been willing to go to attain the governorship."
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