MAPP: The V.I. Code Authorizes Me One Brand-New Cadillac Per Each Election Cycle
“My personal dignity is at stake here.”–Mapp
CHARLOTTE AMALIE — The commissioner of Property and Procurement came to the governor’s defense to say that the chief executive is one of only two people authorized by law to have his own government vehicle for personal and government business.
Property and Procurement Commissioner Randolph Bennett said the government has purchased a Cadillac XTS sedan for $88,000 as “an official vehicle for official functions” for Gov. Kenneth Mapp.
Bennett said the luxury vehicle it is just one of the cars in the government fleet on St. Croix. But this one is for Mapp and Mapp only — whether the governor is going around the corner for an alcoholic drink at Chris’ Hideaway in La Grande Princesse — or going for an adult libation at No Bones Cafe in Gallows Bay.
It is rumored that the Government House official limousine was originally supposed to be pink, but that it was more cost-effective to the taxpayers to settle for a black Cadillac. Other sources said that Mapp felt he needed a bullet-proof vehicle for his pub crawling sessions on St. Croix — where drug-related rampant crime is spiraling out of control.
But Bennett would not confirm or deny whether or not Mapp’s newest new vehicle (he bought two new black SUVs for St. Thomas and two new black SUVs for St. Croix shortly after he was elected in January 2015) has been outfitted by a Florida company with bullet-proof glass and armored panels on the sides of the American-made car.
“Just like Scarface,” Bennett said. “But it is not a limousine — you are wrong about that. It’s just an official vehicle for official functions, and it’s authorized by law. The governor and lieutenant governor are the only ones authorized a vehicle.”
Mapp is protected at all times by “dignity” security officials who ensure that taxpayers cannot get close enough to the governor to tell him what they really think about his profligate and reckless spending of taxpayers hard-earned money.
Bennett said he was proud of the purchase of the Cadillac limousine for Mapp and that it basically the only concrete thing he has done in government since assuming the role of commissioner of Property and Procurement in early 2015.
“You can print what you want,” Bennett said playfully. “But the governor has a brand-new Cadillac paid for by taxpayer money — and you do not — so choke on that.”
Senators had tried to block Mapp and Potter from buying new official vehicles to befit their high stations in political office, but allowed the purchases as part of a pre-election compromise in return for undisclosed benefits for their campaigns that were non-monitary, sources said.