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St. Croix Chamber Addresses Allegations

May 25, 2005 – – The St. Croix Chamber of Commerce issued a press release Wednesday saying "it is gravely concerned about the recent comments by several individuals to the media and the general community regarding the Chamber's financial issues and internal actions."
The Source reported on May 19 that Anna Hector, president of the Chamber, had resigned citing personal reasons. (See "Chamber of Commerce Names New President").
The St. Croix Avis published a story May 25 entitled "Major shake up in STX Chamber of Commerce." It begins, "A cloud of uncertainty, including suggestions of irregularly spent funds surround the events leading to the resignations of two longstanding St. Croix Chamber of Commerce members – one a president and one a former president."
The former president it refers to is Noel Loftus. The story then quotes an unnamed source as saying a check might have been written improperly. However, Loftus, who was part of the team that reviewed and balanced the Chamber's books recently, told Radio One he resigned over some board member's decision to go to the newspaper about what he considered to be private Chamber business. That, coupled with his finding out that the Chamber had no liability insurance, led to his resignation, he said. Most organizations carry officers and directors liability insurance to protect board members from potential lawsuits arising out of any actions of the board.
The Chamber press release states, "The St. Croix Chamber of Commerce has not authorized the release of any information or the issuance of any statements to the press or public with the exception of statements made to the press by Diane Butler, president and/or Benjamin Rivera, Jr., executive director."
The release concluded with a statement from Rivera, "All matters involving the Chamber's finances and any apparent financial discrepancies are being aggressively investigated and are currently being reviewed by our counsel. Until this investigation is complete, we will refer all questions concerning this issue to our legal counsel and will not make any statements."
Rivera continued, "Upon completion of this investigation, a full report and accounting will be made available to our membership and to the public."
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